Title and statement of responsibility area
Robin Blaser fonds
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Dates of creation area
- Blaser, Robin
Physical description area
13.58 m of textual records and other material
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Robin Blaser was born in Colorado on May 18, 1925, and raised in Idaho. He was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a principal member of the group of poets that became known as the ‘Berkeley Renaissance’, together with Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan. In 1955 he moved to Boston, where he worked as a librarian at Harvard’s Widener Library. He returned to San Francisco in 1959 where he worked at the California Historical Society and San Francisco State University. He moved to Vancouver, BC in 1966 and worked for Simon Fraser University, where he taught in the English Department until his retirement as a Full Professor in 1986. He became a Canadian citizen in 1972. Blaser has influenced and mentored many writers, including Stan Persky, Brian Fawcett, Sharon Thesen, George Bowering, and Phyllis Webb, among others. He has published numerous works of poetry, many of them sections of a single long serial-poem collected in The Holy Forest (1993). He was also an essayist, librettist, and editor, most notably of The Collected Books of Jack Spicer (1975). In 1995 his achievement was celebrated with a major conference, The Recovery of the Public World, held in Vancouver and attended by many notable Canadian and American poets. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2005. In 2006 he received a special Lifetime Recognition Award from the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. He also won the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry in 2008 for his revised and expanded edition of The Holy Forest (2008). In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Simon Fraser University. Blaser wrote and resided in Vancouver, BC until his death in 2009.
The records were in the custody of Robin Blaser and David Farwell until their donation to Simon Fraser University Library, Special Collections and Rare Books.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of correspondence, written works and published materials by Blaser and other writers, photographs, and other records accumulated by Blaser during his lifetime. Records include poems, journals and notebooks, book manuscripts, essays, audio and video recordings of poetry readings, personal and financial records, teaching materials, genealogical records, collected publications and articles, and conference and promotional material. Fonds has been arranged into the following eighteen series: Correspondence of Robin Blaser ([between 1931 and 1937]-2009); Correspondence of others (1916-2009); Written works by Robin Blaser ([between 1941 and 1943]-2008); Poetry readings and other performances (1968-2009); Travel records (1959-2008); Articles and reviews regarding Robin Blaser ([194-]-2009); Teaching and academic related material (1946-2005); Business and financial records (1966-2008); Personal records and other biographical material (1925-2009); Honors and awards records (2001-2008); Photographs ([between 1880 and 1900]-2007); Family records and other genealogical material (1919-2007); Works by other authors ([195-]-2009); Ephemera ([195-]-2009); Research articles ([Photocopied 196-]-2007); Conference material ([196-]-2007); Promotional material ([195-]-2006); and Artistic material ([195-?]-2002).
Immediate source of acquisition
Arrangement of the files into series and sub-series provided by the archivist.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Digitized audio materials are available for research in SFU Digitized Collections: https://digital.lib.sfu.ca/robin-blaser-readings
Restrictions on access
All of the works in this fonds, e.g. poetry, music, essays, and other written material, are under copyright. Researchers are required to secure permission from the copyright holder(s) for uses of this material other than those covered by fair dealing.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
File list is available. Item level descriptions are available for some material.
Generated finding aid
Further accruals are expected.
Includes 1786 photographs, 15 compact audio discs, 14 audio cassettes, 3 optical discs, 3 audio reels, 2 videocassettes, and 2 computer disks
Standard number area
Place access points
Name access points
- Blaser, Robin (Subject)
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Rules or conventions
Rules for Archival Description
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created May 16, 2014, LZ
Revised July 24, 2015, MC
Language of description