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Nine Blue Moments for Robin by Michael Boughn

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Nine Blue Moments for Robin Michael Boughn BlazeVOX [books]

How unafraid these thinking loving poems are as they explore memory’s grief and delight, hommages for Robin Blaser – not about, but to a beloved friend and mentor. Boughn’s interlinked meditations conjure something of Blaser himself that anyone who knew him will recognise, and over which anyone who did not will wonder – celebration and grief, mind and body, urgency and laughter, all working together. Nine blue moments indeed, that resonate more fully than memory and may outlast it: “Enough depth,” the poet says, “to contain a sky.” The ache of that.

—Peter Quartermain

Moving within the magical space of the number 9, Boughn writes his meditation as tribute to the magus poet Robin Blaser. This sharp and supple set of poems are energized with “scholarship and cosmos teeming/with the sense of a kiss that never/quite ends because its beginning/was impossible”. Boughn’s lines blend Eros and erudition, humor and critique.

— Hoa Nguyen

Michael Boughn's mind's eye moves between internal thoughts and the recognition of objects that are outside, written without remembering but residing here in these poems of honor and homage for Robin Blaser, one of Boughn's great teachers. Blaser's notion that poetry posits an arguing, weaving, and composing a cosmology and an epistemology is everywhere present in these poems, as is the emotional intensity of losing one held so dear as Robin -- in body and words.

—Kristin Prevallet

Michael Boughn is a writer and teacher whose published works include poetry, literary essays, short stories, and young adult non-fiction. He has also taught part-time at the University of Toronto since 1993, covering courses in post-modern fiction, poetry, children’s literature, American literature, detective fiction and science fiction, among others.

Born in 
Riverside, California (home of the Parent Navel Orange Tree and Easter Sunrise Services) in 1946, he was a third-generation Californian, leaving in 1966 because of his opposition to the illegal and immoral war against Viet Nam. Landing in Vancouver, he enrolled at Simon Fraser University--after planting trees in the bush for a year--where he studied with Robin Blaser who introduced him to the work of William Blake, Ezra Pound, H.D. William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Jack Spicer, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn and others. It was the defining moment of his life.

 From 1970 to 1979, Boughn worked on the lakefront in Toronto loading and unloading boxcars and trailers at Smith Transport, while organizing against the Viet Nam war and supporting anti-racist politics within the south Asian community in Toronto. In 1978 he returned to California where he ran a high speed press in a metal stamping factory in Silicon Valley while finishing his BA at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He continued to develop his poetry during these years, though never publishing.

 In 1978, he moved to Buffalo, N.Y. where he joined the graduate program at SUNY Buffalo. From 1980-1985 he worked as Robert Creeley’s graduate assistant and a cataloger in the Poetry/Rare Books Collection. His dissertation was a descriptive bibliography ofH.D., published in 1993 by the University of Virginia. Graduating with a PhD. in 1986, he remained in Buffalo, working with another of his teachers, the poet John Clarke, to produce the magazine “intent: a newsletter of talk, thinking and document.”  At this time he started a micro press, shuffaloff, which over the years has irregularly published work by Robert Creeley, John Clarke, Robin Blaser, and a number of younger poets including Elizabeth Willis, Jorge Guitart, and Lisa Jarnot.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 28 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-062-0

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