Robin Blaser

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Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
Robin Blaser
Born Robin Francis Blaser
(1925-05-18)May 18, 1925
Denver, Colorado, United States
Died May 7, 2009(2009-05-07) (aged 83)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation Author, poet
Citizenship American, Canadian
Alma mater Simon Fraser University
Period 1964-2008
Literary movement San Francisco Renaissance
Notable awards Lifetime Recognition Award – Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
Griffin Poetry Prize

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Robin Francis Blaser (May 18, 1925 – May 7, 2009) was an author and poet in both the United States and Canada.

Personal background[edit]

Born in Denver, Colorado, Blaser grew up in Idaho, and came to Berkeley, California, in 1944. There he met Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan, becoming a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance of the 1950s and early 1960s. He moved to Canada in 1966, joining the faculty of Simon Fraser University; after taking early retirement in the 1980s, he held the position of Professor Emeritus. He lived in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia.

In June 1995, for Blaser's 70th birthday, a conference was held in Vancouver to pay tribute to his contribution to Canadian poetry. The conference, known as the "Recovery of the Public World" (a phrase borrowed from Hannah Arendt), was attended by poets from around the world, including Canadian poets Michael Ondaatje, Steve McCaffery, Phyllis Webb, George Bowering, Fred Wah, Stan Persky and Daphne Marlatt; and poets who reside in the United States, including Michael Palmer and Norma Cole (who was born in Canada, subsequently migrating to San Francisco).

Blaser was also well known as the editor of The Collected Books of Jack Spicer, which includes Blaser's essay, The Practice of Outside. The 1993 publication The Holy Forest represents his collected poems to that date.

In 2006, Blaser received a special Lifetime Recognition Award given by the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, which also awards the annual Griffin Poetry Prize. Blaser won the Prize itself in 2008.



  • The Moth Poem, 1964
  • Les Chimères: Translations of Nerval for Fran Herndon, 1969
  • Cups, 1968
  • Image Nations 1-12 & The Stadium of the Mirror, 1974
  • Image Nations 13 & 14, Luck Unluck Oneluck, Sky-stone, Suddenly, Gathering, 1975
  • Harp Trees, 1977
  • Image Nation 15: The Lacquerhouse, 1981
  • Syntax, 1983
  • The Faerie Queene and The Park, 1987
  • Pell Mel, 1988
  • The Holy Forest, 1993
  • Nomad, 1995
  • Wanders, with Meredith Quartermain, 2002
  • The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser, 2007 ISBN 0-520-24593-8 (winner of the 2008 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize)


  • The Fire, 1974
  • The Metaphysics of Light, 1974
  • The Practice of Outside, 1975
  • The Violets: Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead, 1983
  • My Vocabulary Did This To Me, 1987
  • Poetry and Positivisms, 1989
  • The Elf of It, 1992
  • The Recovery of the Public World and Among Afterthoughts on This Occasion, 1993
  • Here Lies the Woodpecker Who Was Zeus, 1995
  • Thinking about Irreparables, a talk, 2000
  • The Fire: Collected Essays of Robin Blaser, 2006 [2]

Opera libretto[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Nichols, Mariam (4 May 2004). "Robin Blaser". The Literary Encyclopedia. The Literary Dictionary Company Limited. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  2. ^ edited by Miriam Nichols, (University California Press, 518 pgs). Includes "Poetry and Positivisms," "The Recovery of the Public World," " 'My Vocabulary Did This to Me,' " "The 'Elf' of It," "Bach's Belief," and many others.

External links[edit]