Died on this day – 30 March 2005

Photo credit: Chris Felver

The American poet Robert Creeley was born on 21 May 1926. He was author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school’s. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg and Ed Dorn.

In his later years he was an advocate of, and a mentor to, many younger poets, as well as to others outside of the poetry world. He went to great lengths to be supportive to many people regardless of any poetic affiliation. Being responsive appeared to be essential to his personal ethics, and he seemed to take this responsibility extremely seriously, in both his life and his craft. In his later years, when he became well-known, he would go to lengths to make strangers, who approached him as a well-known author, feel comfortable. In his last years, he used the Internet to keep in touch with many younger poets and friends.

Despite suffering the onset of pneumonia in 2005 Creeley made a trip to Europe and paid a visit to Montmorillon. He expressed enthusiasm for the concept of the Cité de l’Ecrit and was impressed by the range of books by American poets available at The Glass Key. Staying at the Hotel de France Robert Creeley died at sunrise on 30 March 30 2005 of complications from preumonia. He is buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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