Bremser was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. When he was 17 he went AWOL from the United States Air Force and was briefly imprisoned. The next year he was sent to Bordentown Reformatory for 6 years for armed robbery. He began writing poetry there and sent copies to Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and LeRoi Jones (Imamu Amiri Baraka), who published his poems in "Yugen" and threw a big party for him when he got out of jail in 1958.
In 1959, Ray met and married Brenda Frazer, her name changing to Bonnie Bremser. In 1969 Troia was published from her prison letters to Ray, detailing her 1960s life on the road as a prostitute in Mexico, to support him and their child Rachel while Ray was on the lam or behind bars. Ronna Johnson's entry in BookForum: ". . . Bonnie met and married the Beat poet Ray Bremser in 1959, having known him for three weeks. Two years later, they were on the lam in Mexico with their baby, Rachel, fugitives from the New Jersey prison authorities, which were pursuing Ray for violating parole. This flight, the manifest subject of Troia, is recounted in the daily two-page letters Bonnie Bremser wrote to Ray from March to November 1963, during his second incarceration. She retrospectively details her life of prostitution on the road in Mexico and the couple’s desperate relinquishment of Rachel there."<Title=Troia: Mexican Memoirs by Rhonna Johnson, BookForum, Feb/Mar 2008 /> http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/014_05/2088
Ray and Bonnie's lives were intertwined and strong for life.
Ray Bremser read poetry in The Gaslight Cafe in the Greenwich Village neighborhood. He had five books of his poetry published and was featured in the 1987 film The Beat Generation: An American Dream.
He died in 1998 of lung cancer.
- Ronna Johnson, BookForum, Feb/Mar 2008, Troia: Mexican Memoirs.