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Robin Blaser's library coming soon to Special Collections and Rare Books


During COVID-19, individual researchers may book two-hour appointments in the SCRB reading room.

Appointments must be requested at least one week in advance, and priority will be given to SFU students, faculty, and staff. 

For more details, including available days and times, safety requirements, and how to request an appointment, see Booking appointments during COVID in Special Collections and Rare Books.


Robin Blaser

About Robin BlaserĀ 

Robin Blaser (1925-2009) was an American-Canadian poet who in the 1950s and '60s established himself in the San Francisco Bay Area as a friend and peer of the emerging poets Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan, as well as other "New American" poets of the day such as the "Black Mountain" writers Charles Olson and Robert Creeley.

In 1966 he moved to B.C to accept a faculty position in the newly established SFU English department where he taught for the next two decades.

In 1972 he became a Canadian citizen and for more than forty years lived in Vancouver, where he flourished as a charismatic and influential figure in the West Coast poetry and arts world. In 2005 he received the Order of Canada and 2008 was awarded the country's top poetry prize -- the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Robin Blaser's library at SFU

Bennett Library's Special Collections & Rare Books division acquired Blaser's literary archive in 2007 and recently his vast library was willed to the library by his long-time partner David Farwell (1945-2020).

It is a large, high quality poet-intellectual's library gathered over a lifetime and reflecting Blaser's wide reading in history, philosophy, religion, anthropology, the classics, French and world literature, and indeed all areas of the humanities. It includes many interesting and rare editions, including works by and about the writers who most influenced him as poet and thinker -- those that he called "the great companions" -- as well as writings by the poets he is closely identified with -- both the "New Americans" and the numerous Canadians he befriended and taught upon his move north.

Many of the books from the Blaser library will go into Special Collections, particularly the Contemporary Literature Collection of 20th & 21st century innovative poetry, and many more will fill the shelves of SFU English's new writer-in-residence office.

Additionally, Special Collections will place on permanent display in the Yosef Wosk Seminar Room a selection of rare and interesting books and other material relating to Blaser, his work and his legacy.

Contact for further information

Melissa Salrin: