Robert Pack (poet and critic)

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Robert Pack (born May 19, 1929, in New York City) is an American poet and critic, and Distinguished Senior Professor in the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana - Missoula.[1] For thirty-four years he taught at Middlebury College and from 1973 to 1995 served as director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He is the author of twenty-two books of poetry and criticism.[2] Pack has been called, by Harold Bloom,[3] an heir to Robert Frost and Edwin Arlington Robinson, and has himself published a volume of admiring essays on Frost's poetry.[4] He has co-edited several books with Jay Parini, including Writers on Writing: A Breadloaf Anthology.[5]


Pack received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1951 and an M.A. from Columbia University in 1953. Pack was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy to translate poetry in 1957. Upon his return, he began teaching at Barnard College. In 1964 Pack was invited to develop a new program in creative writing at Middlebury College. At Middlebury, Pack specialized in poetry workshops, modern British and American Poetry, English Romantic poetry, and the plays of Shakespeare. He was awarded the Abernethy Chair of American Literature and later a special College chair that allowed him to teach across the curriculum. In addition, he served as director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference from 1973 to 1995. Among the writers he recruited for the teaching staff were novelists John Gardner and John Irving and poets Howard Nemerov, Donald Justice, and Mark Strand.[6] After retiring from Middlebury College in 1996, Pack and his wife Patty moved to Montana to be nearer to their three children, and Pack began teaching at the University of Montana Honors College. In 2006, the University of Montana awarded Pack its George M. Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Service.[7]

His daughter, Pamela Pack, is a rock climber known for her pursuit of off-width cracks.[8]





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