The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley. Rod Smith, Peter Baker, and Kaplan Harris, ed. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2014. h/bk 467 pp. ISBN 978-0-520-24160-2. Price £44.95

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


That Robert Creeley was one of the most important and influential American poets of the twentieth century is magnificently confirmed by this handsome selection of his letters. The book spans sixty years of correspondence and delivers an enriched sense of how friends, family and (some) literary feuds profoundly shaped Creeley’s life, work and poetic imagination. The fact of this book, its bulk – despite its being only a selection of Creeley’s letters – shows clearly, and with new care and detail, the importance of the act of writing for Creeley. As much as in his famously anxious and hesitant poetry, these letters catch him in the act of thinking through what is this world we inhabit, how does our attention to it shape our sense of being. At the end of a late poem, “Goodbye” (Life & Death, 1998), he writes: “I want no sentimentality. / I want no more than home.” After reading these letters we get even closer to Creeley’s clear-eyed avoidance of sentimentality and his restless desire to find somewhere he could call home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-278
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of American Studies of Turkey
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this