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Distributed March 30, 2005
Contact Mark Nickel

Robert Creeley: A major artist in the landscape of American poetry

Faculty colleagues Forrest Gander and C.D. Wright notified students in the Literary Arts Program today of the death of poet Robert Creeley. Creeley had joined the Brown faculty in 2003 as a Distinguished Professor of English. A public memorial will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, April 15, in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Forrest Gander and C.D. Wright of Brown University’s Literary Arts Program sent the following message to their students and faculty colleagues today (Wednesday, March 30, 2005).


Dear Students and Faculty,

Poet Robert Creeley died this morning at about 6 a.m. in the hospital in Odessa, Texas. He had gone to Marfa, Texas, for a two-month residency at the Lannan Foundation. He became very ill with pneumonia. He was taken to the hospital in Alpine, Texas, by ambulance, and then to Odessa. His wife, Penelope, and their children, Will and Hannah, were at his side. We will make plans for an appropriate memorial once Penelope has returned to Providence from Texas.

Robert Creeley was without question a major artist in the landscape of American poetry during the second half the 20th century. His contribution to poetry and to poetics will resonate with us for a long, long time.

Robert joined the faculty two years ago and participated fully in teaching, advising and faculty affairs. We relished his company, his intelligence was unwavering and utterly singular, and his spirit was consistently generous. He was already happily integrated into the community at Brown and was glad to be spending the last years of his teaching career here. We are grateful for the short years that we were beneficiaries of his company on our campus.


Forrest Gander
C.D. Wright

A sampling of Creeley’s work is online at the Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY–Buffalo.


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