Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
Fraser Cemetery New Westminster, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Robin Francis Blaser (May 18, 1925 – May 7, 2009) was an author and poet in both the United States and Canada.
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.
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