Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Black Mountain Poet, Robert Creeley, has died

from Psychedelic 60s: The Black Mountain Poets

Born in Arlington, Massachusetts, Robert Creeley attended Harvard but dropped out before taking his degree. After living in the south of France in Aix-en-Provence and in majorca, Spain, where he founded the Divers Press, he joined teh faculty of Black Mountain College in 1954 at the invitation of Charles Olson. There he founded the Black Mountain Review. While Creeley left the college itself in 1955, his influence on Black Mountain poetics has been significant. Associated with the State University of New York at Buffalo since 1966, he was named poet laureat of the state of New York in 1992.

THE BLACK MOUNTAIN College began as an experimental school in 1933 and was located in a rural mountain community in North Carolina. Various avant-garde poets were drawn to the school through the years, most notably Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Jonathan Williams, and Robert Creeley. Robert Creeley was hired to teach and to edit the Black Mountain Review in 1955, and when he left two years later for San Francisco, he became the link between the Black Mountain poets, the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, and­ through Allen Ginsberg­ the Beat writers of Greenwich Village. A partial list of contributors to Volume 7 of the Black Mountain Review (the last issue) shows the connection between the three groups and the influence they had on each other ­Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Charles Olson, Denise Levertov, and Jonathan Williams.