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July 22, 1961|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Life and work
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Robertson moved to British Columbia in 1979, where she remained for twenty-three years. During her time there, she was a member of The Kootenay School of Writing, which is a writer-run collective, and Artspeak Gallery. From 1988 to 1994 she ran Proprioception Books, a bookstore in downtown Vancouver focusing on poetry, theory and criticism that also hosted readings. Her first book was a chapbook, The Apothecary, published by Tsunami Editions in 1991. Since then she has published eight books of poetry and two books of essays.
Robertson studied at Simon Fraser University (1984–1988), then left the university to become an independent bookseller (1988–1994). Since 1995 she has been a freelance writer and teacher. Her many essays on the contemporary visual arts, published in gallery and museum catalogues since the mid-1990s, are collected in her 2003 book Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture.
In 2006, Robertson was a judge of the Griffin Poetry Prize and Holloway poet-in-residence at UC Berkeley. From 2007 to 2010 she taught at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. In Fall 2010 she was writer-in-residence at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. In Spring 2014 she was the Bain Swigget lecturer in Poetry at Princeton University. In Spring 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Emily Carr University, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- The Apothecary (Vancouver, BC: Tsunami, 1991; reissued 2001)
- reissued (Toronto: Bookthug, 2007)
- The Barscheit Horse with Catriona Strang and Christine Stewart (Hamilton, Ontario: Berkeley Horse, 1993)
- XEclogue II-V (Vancouver: Sprang Texts, 1993)
- XEclogue (Vancouver, BC: Tsunami Editions 1993, reissued by New Star Books, 1999)
- The Glove: An Essay on Interpretation (Vancouver: UBC Fine Arts Gallery, 1993)
- The Badge (Hamilton, Ontario: The Berkeley Horse/Mindware, 1994)
- Earth Monies (Mission, BC: DARD, 1995)
- The Descent (Buffalo, NY: Meow, 1996)
- Debbie: An Epic (Vancouver, BC: New Star, 1997; UK: Reality Street, 1997)
- Soft Architecture: A Manifesto (Vancouver: Artspeak Gallery, 1999)
- The Weather (Vancouver, BC: New Star, 2001; UK: Reality Street, 2001)
- A Hotel (Vancouver: Vancouver Film School, 2003)
- Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture (Astoria, OR: Clear Cut Press, 2003)
- Face/ (New York: A Rest Press, 2003)
- Rousseau’s Boat (Vancouver, BC: Nomados, 2004)
- First Spontaneous Horizontal Restaurant. Belladonna 75. (Brooklyn: Belladonna Books, 2005)
- The Men: A Lyric Book (Toronto: BookThug, 2006)
- Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2009)
- R's Boat (University of California Press, 2010)
- Nilling: Prose (Toronto: BookThug, 2012)
- Cinema Of the Present (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2014)
- 3 Summers (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2016)
- "Coasting" with Jeff Derksen, Nancy Shaw, and Catriona Strang. Telling it Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the 1990s. Ed. Mark Wallace. (Tuscaloosa: Alabama UP, 2002)
- "The Weather: A Report on Sincerity," from DC Poetry Anthology 2001.
- "How Pastoral: A Manifesto." A Poetics of Criticism. Ed. Juliana Spahr. (Buffalo: Leave Books, 1994)
- "My Eighteeneth Century." Assembling Alternatives. Ed. Romana Huk. (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2003)
- "On Palinode." Chicago Review 51:4/52:1 (2006)
Selected interviews and conversations
- "Correspondence" with Steve McCaffery. Philly Talks #17. (Philadelphia: Kelly Writers House, 2000)
- "Lifted" with Kai Fierle-Hedrick. Chicago Review 51:4/52:1 (2006)
- Interview with Julie Carr (The Volta, 2013). 
- Brecken Hancock An Interview with Lisa Robertson (CWILA, 2012) 
- Andy Fitch with Lisa Robertson (The Conversant, 2013) 
- Out-Takes from Ted Byrne's Interview with Lisa Robertson (Capilano Review, 2011) 
- Editor1 (2013-05-19). "Andy Fitch with Lisa Robertson". The Conversant. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "BookThug Publishing - Nilling by Lisa Robertson, Lisa Robertson". Bookthug.ca. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "KSW Reading Locations Catalogue". The Kootenay School of Writing. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
- Fortier, Laura. "Lisa Robertson Fonds (MsC38)" (PDF). Simon Fraser University Collections and Rare Books. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
- "BookThug Publishing - The Apothecary by Lisa Robertson, Launch Packages". Bookthug.ca. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Lisa Robertson". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Lisa M Robertson | Department of English". English.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Cinema of the Present | Coach House Books". Chbooks.com. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Robertson, Lisa". Dcpoetry.com. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- Lisa Robertson's piece titled "The Venus Problem"
- Chicago Review special issue (51:4/52:1) on Lisa Robertson (poems, essays, interview)
- Dispatches from the PoetryFoundation.org Journal
- Readings from The Office For Soft Architecture
- Test Reading: from The Men
- Lisa Robertson reads at a Toronto Value Village
- "Mostly Experimental: Recent Writings By and About Contemporary Women Poets & Writers" review of American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, ed. Claudia Rankine and Juliana Spahr.
- Steve Evans reviews Rousseau’s Boat This piece, titled "Solitary and Free", appeared in "Jacket Magazine", #27 (April 2005)
- "Wooden Houses" poem by Robertson in "Jacket Magazine", #27 (APR 2005)
- Review @ Village Voice: 09/29/06 Alan Gilbert discusses The Men
- Joshua Corey discusses The Men extended piece from the popular weblog Cahiers de Corey
- Conversation review of 'The Men' by Melissa Flores-Bórquez and Edmund Hardy at poetry mag "Intercapillary Space"
- Records of Lisa Robertson are held by Simon Fraser University's Special Collections and Rare Books