Lisa Robertson

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Lisa Robertson
Born (1961-07-22)July 22, 1961
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Poet, teacher
Language English
Nationality Canadian
Genre Poetry, essay

Lisa Robertson (born July 22, 1961) is a Canadian poet. She lived for many years in Vancouver, briefly in Oakland, California, and currently lives in France.[1][2]

Life and work[edit]

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.[3][4] Her first book was a chapbook, The Apothecary, published by Tsunami Editions in 1991.[5] Since then she has published eight books of poetry and two books of essays.

Robertson studied at Simon Fraser University[6] (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.[6] 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.[7] In Spring 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Emily Carr University, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Apothecary (Vancouver, BC: Tsunami, 1991; reissued 2001)
    • reissued (Toronto: Bookthug, 2007)[5]
  • 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)[2]
  • Cinema Of the Present (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2014)[8]
  • 3 Summers (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2016)
  • Proverbs of a She-Dandy (Paris/Vancouver: Libraries Editeurs, 2018)[9]

Selected essays[edit]

  • "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.[10]
  • "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[edit]

  • "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). [1]
  • Brecken Hancock An Interview with Lisa Robertson (CWILA, 2012) [2]
  • Andy Fitch with Lisa Robertson (The Conversant, 2013) [3]
  • Out-Takes from Ted Byrne's Interview with Lisa Robertson (Capilano Review, 2011) [4]



  1. ^ a b Editor1 (2013-05-19). "Andy Fitch with Lisa Robertson". The Conversant. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  2. ^ a b "BookThug Publishing - Nilling by Lisa Robertson, Lisa Robertson". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  3. ^ "KSW Reading Locations Catalogue". The Kootenay School of Writing. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Fortier, Laura. "Lisa Robertson Fonds (MsC38)" (PDF). Simon Fraser University Collections and Rare Books. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "BookThug Publishing - The Apothecary by Lisa Robertson, Launch Packages". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  6. ^ a b "Lisa Robertson". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  7. ^ "Lisa M Robertson | Department of English". Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  8. ^ "Cinema of the Present | Coach House Books". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  9. ^ "Put it in words: How writing and reading by women influenced art in the '70s". Vancouver Sun. 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-03-05. 
  10. ^ "Robertson, Lisa". Retrieved 2011-07-02. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]