Stanley, George Anthony

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Stanley, George Anthony

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1934 -


George Anthony Stanley was born in 1934, in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. He came from a middle-class Irish Catholic family. Stanley attended St. Ignatius High School, a Jesuit run school. In 1951, Stanley received a scholarship to attend The University of San Francisco, but was dissatisfied with what it had to offer and left after only one year. In 1952, Stanley began studying at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and attended until 1953. By 1953, Stanley was back in San Francisco, at which time he enlisted in the US Army, serving in a non-combat capacity until 1956.

In 1956 he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley and remained there until 1957. In 1957, Stanley was introduced to Jack Spicer at the bar The Place and showed him one of his poems. Spicer liked the poem, and asked Stanley to join the Magic Workshop. Stanley was a member of the Jack Spicer Circle until 1965. The circle grew out of the Berkley Renaissance movement, the leading members being Spicer, Robert Duncan, and Robin Blaser. In May 1960, Stanley hitchhiked to New York. At this time he had poems published in small circulation publications such as J (San Francisco, 1958-1959), Floating Bear (New York, 1960), and Open Space (San Francisco, 1964). In 1963, White Rabbit published Stanley’s chapbook Tête Rouge/Pony Express Riders and later Flowers in 1965.

In 1967, Stanley resumed his university education, receiving his Bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University in 1969. In 1968, Beyond Love was published by Open Space/Dariel Press. In 1971 Stanley completed a Master of Arts at San Francisco State University, with a focus on creative writing. For the thesis component of his Master of Arts he wrote Feeling Out: Poems and Stories. Stanley moved to Vancouver in 1971 and became associated with The Grape underground newspaper, 1971-1972, and New Star Books, 1973-1974. In 1974, You (poems 1957-67) was published by New Star Books. Also in 1974, Talon Books published The Stick: Poems 1969-73.

In 1976 Stanley moved to Terrace, British Columbia, to take a job as instructor in the English Department of Northwest Community College, which he held until 1991. During this time many of his chapbooks were published, including Mountains & Air (Red Queen, 1978), Temporarily (Tatlow/Gorse, 1986), and San Franciso’s Gone (1989). A full-length book Opening Day (Oolichan Books, 1983) was also published.

In 1992, Stanley returned to Vancouver, and took a teaching position at Capilano College in North Vancouver. In 1995, New Star Books published Gentle Northern Summer, and At Andy’s in 2000. After 2002, he was a board member of the Capilano Press Society, publisher of the Capilano Review. In 2003, Stanley retired from Capilano College after working there for eleven years, and A Tall Serious Girl, a book of selected poems, was published by Qua Books. More recent publications include Seniors (Nomados, 2006), Vancouver: a poem (New Star, 2008), and After Desire (New Star, 2013). In 2006, Stanley was the recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Stanley currently lives in Vancouver and continues to write poetry.


Vancouver, San Francisco

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