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Robin Blaser

Robin Blaser (1925-2009). Courtesy Paul E. Nelson.

Robin Francis Blaser (May 18, 1925 - May 7, 2009) was an American and Canadian poet and prose author.


Blaser was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho.[1]

He moved to Berkeley, California, in 1944. There he met Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan, becoming like them a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance of the 1950s and early 1960s. Like Spicer and Duncan, Blaser was gay.[2]

He moved to Canada in 1966, and became a Canadian citizen in 1992.[1] He taught at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University; after taking early retirement in the 1980's, he held the position of Professor Emeritus. He lived in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver.

Blaser was also well known as the editor of The Collected Books of Jack Spicer, which includes Blaser's essay, "The Practice of Outside."

Blaser died of a brain tumor in Vancouver on May 7, 2009, days short of his 84th birthday.[2]


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 living in the United States, including Michael Palmer and Norma Cole (who was born in Canada, subsequently migrating to San Francisco).

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 Griffin Prize itself in 2008.



  • The Moth Poem. San Francisco, CA: Open Space, 1964.
  • Cups. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968.
  • Image-nation 11 (the poēsis). Vancouver, BC: Saint's Day Press, 1972.
  • Image-nations 1-12 & The Stadium of the Mirror. London: Ferry Press, 1974.
  • Image-nation 13 (the telephone). Vancouver, BC: Talonbooks, 1974.
  • Image-nations 13 & 14, Luck Unluck Oneluck, Sky-stone, Suddenly, Gathering. North Vancouver, BC: Cobblestone Press, 1975.
  • Sudddenly. North Vancouver, BC: Cobblestone Press, 1976.
  • Harp Trees. Vancouver, BC: Sun Stone House & Cobblestone Press, 1977.
  • Image-nation 15: The Lacquerhouse. Vancouver, BC: W. Hoffer, 1981.
  • Syntax. Vancouver, BC: Talonbooks, 1983.
  • Honestas. Buffalo, NY: Poetry/Rare Book Collection of the State University of New York at Buffalo, 1987.
  • The Faerie Queene and The Park. Vancouver, BC: Fissure Books, 1987.
  • Pell Mel. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1988.
  • The Holy Forest. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1993.
  • Nomad, 1995
  • Halloween. Boulder, CO: Kavyayantra Press, 1995.
  • Etruscan Reader VI (by Robin Blaser, Barbara Guest, & Lee Harwood). South Devonshire, UK: Etruscan Books, 1998.
  • Wanders, with Meredith Quartermain, 2002
  • The Holy Forest: Collected poems (edited by Miriam Nichols). Berkeley, CA, & London: University of California Press, 2006. ISBN 0-520-24593-8


  • Bach's Belief. Canton, NY: Glover Publishing, for the Institute of Further Studies, 1995.
  • Thinking about Irreparables, a talk, 2000
  • The Irreparable. Vancouver, BC: Nomados, 2003.
  • The Fire: Collected essays (edited by Miriam Nichols). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006.
  • The Astonishment Tapes: Talks on poetry and autobiography with Robin Blaser and friends (edited by Miriam Nichols). Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2015.

Collected editionsEdit

  • Even on Sunday: Essays, readings, and archival materials on the poetry and poetics of Robin Blaser: with new work by Robin Blaser (edited by Miriam Nichols). Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 2002.


  • Les Chimères: Translations of Nerval for Fran Herndon. San Francisco, CA: White Rabbitt Press, 1965; San Francisco, CA: Open Space, 1965.


Poet Robin Blaser reads from The Holy Forest

Poet Robin Blaser reads from The Holy Forest

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

5 Poems by Robin Blaser

5 Poems by Robin Blaser

Audio / videoEdit

  • Robin Blaser (video). San Francisco Poetry Center / American Poetry Archives, 1988.[3]

Opera librettoEdit

  • The Last Supper, 2000.

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 Robin Blaser, Poetry Foundation. Web, Nov. 5, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rob McLennan, The Incomparable Robin Blaser, Xtra, May 13, 2009. Web, Mar. 4, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Search results=Robin Blaser, WorldCat, Web, Mar. 28, 2017.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
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