Robert Creeley

2001 Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime

photo of Robert Creeley

Robert Creeley (1926-2005), poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, and teacher, was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, in 1926. He entered Harvard University in 1943, leaving after one year to drive an ambulance in India and Burma during World War II.

During the 1950s, after dropping out of Harvard, he taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and was an editor of its innovative literary journal, the Black Mountain Review.

Mr. Creeley was one of the founders of the Black Mountain school of poetry, which emphasized natural speech rhythms and lines determined by pauses for breathing—a poetry designed to transmit the poet’s emotional and intellectual energy directly and spontaneously. After receiving his MA from the University of New Mexico, Mr. Creeley taught at the University of British Columbia, San Francisco State College, and the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and Letters.

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