Duncan, Robert

Duncan, Robert,

1919–88, American poet, b. Oakland, Calif. He was a leading poet of the San Francisco renaissance during the late 1940s. His lyric style contains private allusions, gaps in syntax, and individualistic spellings. Among his themes are the search for love and the decline of faith in the supernatural. His volumes of poetry include The Opening of the Field (1960), Bending the Bow (1968), Derivations (1970), Groundwork I: Before the War (1984), and Groundwork II: In the Dark (1987).


See study ed. by R. Bertholf and I. Reid (1979).

Duncan, Robert (Edward) (b. Edward Howard Duncan)

(1919–88) poet, writer; born in Oakland, Calif. Adopted when young, and given the name Robert Edward Symmes, he assumed his new name in 1941. He studied at the University of California: Berkeley (1936–38; 1948–50), taught at Black Mountain College (1956–57), and became associated with the San Francisco Bay area group of poets, as seen in The Opening of the Field (1960). He was also an editor, playwright, and artist.
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5-3 victory took the visitors to the Colne Valley to the top of the table, displacing Budenbergs, who are travelling to Longwood next Wednesday and who include top names like Brian Duncan, Robert Hitchen and Graeme Wilson in their line-up.
As his first two books, Metaphors on Vision and Brakhage Scrapbook, (1) demonstrate, a good deal of this writing has occurred in the course of his extensive correspondences with poets: both books include letters from Brakhage to Robert Creeley, Guy Davenport, Ed Dorn, Robert Duncan, Robert Kelly, Michael McClure, Charles Olson, and others.
Mackey, who is professor of literature at the University of California-Santa Cruz and himself an important contemporary poet, astutely analyzes the work of Black Mountainers Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and Charles Olson, African Americans Amiri Baraka and Clarence Major, and Caribbeaners Edward Kamau Brathwaite and Wilson Harris in order to make two fundamental points.