Paul Blackburn

Paul Blackburn (Creeley, Robert. "About Paul Blackburn." About Paul Blackburn. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.)

Paul Blackburn (Creeley, Robert. “About Paul Blackburn.” About Paul Blackburn. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.)

Paul Blackburn is best known as a Black Mountain Poet, because of his work as editor and distributor of the Black Mountain Review. Black Mountain poets are poets who had some loose affiliation with the Black Mountain College, usually through their work with the Black Mountain Review. The Black Mountain Review was started to highlight the literary accomplishments of Black Mountain College.
Blackburn was born in Vermont in November 1926 to William Blackburn and Frances Frost. His mother Frances Frost a poet and children’s author herself, encouraged Blackburn to write in his teenage years. Most of Blackburn’s early life was spent living with his sister and strict grandparents on their farm in St. Albans, Vermont. At the age of fourteen Blackburn moved to his mother’s house in Greenwich Village. It was during this time that Blackburn’s mother started to encourage him to write poetry. In 1945 he started at New York University but left after one year to join the Army. His service in the military was spent as a laboratory technician in Colorado. When he returned to college he started reading Ezra Pound. He managed to get in touch with Pound and a mentor-student relationship began between the two poets. Blackburn supported himself through jobs at print-shops, editorial jobs, translating, and free-lance writing. In the 1960’s he started to get offers to teach at colleges and universities. In 1967 he received a fellowship that allowed him to go to Europe to work on translations and poetry.
Blackburn was married three times and had one child. Paul Blackburn died in 1971 of esophageal cancer.
Paul Blackburn’s was an amazing poet and worked hard to help up and coming poets develop. His poetry had a musical quality. He was published in many smaller literary magazines. Including the Wild Dog magazine. Newton Gresham Library’s SHSU Special Collections house the Wild Dog collection, which consist not just of the Wild Dog magazine issues but also manuscripts and correspondence of the authors and editors. Paul Blackburn published a total of six poems in the Wild Dog magazine. Three of the poems occur in issue nine on page six. The poems in volume nine are: Hark, Hark…, The Unemployment Bureau, and Hot Afternoons Have Been in the West 15th Street. They can be found in the Wild Dog collection in Series 2, Subseries 4, Box 8, and Folder 9. The second set of poems are in issue 19 page 35. They poems in issue 19 are: Collage, “ancer Ejaculations, and Who Nneedds Legs? We Do. They can be found in the Wild Dog collection in Series 2, Subseries 4, Box 9, and Folder 4.

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To view and read Paul Blackburn’s poems and The Wild Dog Papers visit Newton Gresham Library’s Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Library.