Reading His Poetry
Saturday, October 23, 7 pm
ORTSPACE, 121 East 7th Street, Tucson
Admission: $5; Students $3
Sponsored by POG
Public Talk: “Language is Love” Sunday, October 24, 3pm
ORTSPACE, 121 East 7th Street
Sponsored by POG, Chax Press, and University of Arizona Poetry Center
for further information contact POG: 615-7803
Robin Blaser on Robin Blaser:
Robin Blaser, born Denver, Colorado, 1925, grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho—I remember by name all the splendid teachers there in Latin, English, French, History and Biology. Arrived by bus in Berkeley, 1944, met by friends from there, took my bag to the Durant Hotel, then up to the Greek Theater to see Euripides' Trojan Women. A fine first day, which got even better when Gene Wahl brought me Jack Spicer, who later brought Robert Duncan to me after finding him at an anarchist meeting. I remember especially the presences of Josephine Miles, Ernst Kantarovicz, Arthur Brodeur, Linforth, Hannah Arendt, and Duncan's and my Greek tutor, Rosario Jimenez. I left to be a librarian at Harvard, 1955-1959, where Spicer joined me for a year. Went to Europe for 5 months and returned to San Francisco, then Christmas dinner, turkey and all on Stinson Beach with Duncan and Jess, 1959. I was a librarian at the California Historical Society, 1959 and at San Francisco State, 1961-1965. James Felts and I lived in San Francisco until 1966, when our relationship of many years faded. During the Poetry Conference in Berkeley in 1965, Robert Creeley and Charles Olson were folded into my heart and mind. In 1966 I was offered a position at the new Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, where I taught for 20 years. There, David Farwell and I have been partners for 29 years. I am grateful to Canada. I am honoured to find in Berkeley, on Addison Avenue, bronze plaques in the sidewalk for Duncan, Spicer and me in a row. San Francisco remains my home town.
from “Language is Love,” poem by Robin Blaser:
We must return to the Lark of our speech.
I would have them eat of the heart of this
Robin Blaser found his beginnings as a poet in the excitement of the New American postmodern, particularly as it began to take shape in the work of his companions Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan in the late 1940s. Unlike many of his peers, however, Blaser has developed as a writer through subsequent generations and poetic movements; his work thus extends beyond the era in which it began. An immigrant to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1966, and a Canadian citizen since 1972, Blaser has established himself as a key figure on the west coast of B.C. and an important influence among Canadian experimental poets such as George Bowering, Steve McCaffery, bp Nichol, Erin Mouré, and Daphne Marlatt. The Holy Forest, a lifelong serial poem composed of many books, is his major work in poetry and is still in process. The collection as it now exists in the 1993 edition published by Coach House Press is comprised of Earlier: The Boston Poems (1956-1958); Cups (1959-1960); The Park (1960); The Faerie Queen (1961); The Moth Poem (1962-1964); Image-Nations 1-4 (1962-1964); Les Chimères (1963-1964); Charms (1964-1968); Image-Nations 5 –14 (1967-1974); Streams I (1974-1976); Syntax (1979-1981); Pell Mell (1981-1988); Great Companions (1971, 1988); Streams II (1986-1991); and Exody (1990-1993). In addition, Blaser has published numerous essays on poetics, including “The Fire”, which was anthologized in The Poetics of the New American Poetry (1974), and “The Practice of Outside”, which accompanies his edition of The Collected Books of Jack Spicer (1980). In 2000, he published a libretto for The Last Supper, an opera with music by British composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Currently, he has in the works a Collected Essays and an expanded edition of The Holy Forest that will include a new book of poems, to be called OH!
POG events are sponsored in part by grants from the Tucson/Pima Arts Council, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. POG also benefits from the continuing support of The University of Arizona Poetry Center, the Arizona Quarterly, Chax Press, and The University of Arizona Department of English.
thanks to our growing list of 2004-2005 Patrons and Sponsors:
We're also grateful to hosts and programming partners
for further information contact
POG: 615-7803, firstname.lastname@example.org
These pages last modified September 2, 2007.