A thoroughgoing biography that will likely become a touchstone for anyone interested in the poet's work and life. Recommended.
(Pam Kingsbury Library Journal
A richly documented book that eclipses earlier biographies.
(Bruce Allen Down East: The Magazine of Maine
[A] sterling biography.
(David Yezzi Wall Street Journal
[A] readable and well-researched book.
(Rebecca Porte Minneapolis Star Tribune
Unquestionably, Robinson's life and poetry are worthy of celebration. A Poet's Life offers the reader a chance to participate in that celebration.
(John Shulson Virginia Gazette
Mr. Donaldson's close readings of the poems are masterful and edifying.
(Ernest Hilbert The New York Sun
[Donaldson's] thorough documentation and responsiveness to Robinson's poetry displaces previous accounts of this fascinating, enigmatic character.
(William H. Pritchard Times Literary Supplement
A smoothly readable, profoundly well-documented biography.
(X. J. Kennedy The New Criterion
Scott Donaldson has been able to give us a superb accounting of the life of a major 20th century poet.
(Hannah Merker Maine Sunday Telegram
Donaldson's words, like his subjects, are always heartfelt.
If [Robinson's] reputation is ever to revive, and it should, the credit ought to go to Scott Donaldson and his biography.
(Charles Simic New York Review of Books
Robinson's theme was unhappiness itself, but his skill was as happy as it was playful.... His life was a revel in the felicities of language.
No poet ever understood loneliness or separateness better than Robinson or knew the self-consuming furnace that the brain can become in isolation.
Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet's Life brings forth new material hitherto unavailable to biographers. The result is a remarkably rounded portrait of a man who kept his public persona deliberately flat.
(Barry Goldensohn, Skidmore College)|
For too long Edwin Arlington Robinson has been consigned to the ranks of peripheral poets. Scott Donaldsona gifted biographerhas brought this remarkable man and his poetry vividly to life. This is a welcome book and one that should go a long way toward reestablishing Robinson as a significant voice in American literature.
(Jay Parini, author of Robert Frost: A Life
I'm very glad that Scott Donaldson has given us the first Edwin Arlington Robinson biography in forty years; it will send some readers back to enjoy again his humanity and formal ease, and get some others to meet him for the first time.
(Richard Wilbur, former Poet Laureate of the United States)|
The best of Edwin Arlington Robinson's poetry rings with a lyrical and emotional purity and singularity that should assure his place as one of the treasured poets of his generation. His reputation has suffered neglect in recent decades, but a new, clear, meticulous, and perceptive biography incorporating much previously unavailable material is certainly to be welcomed, and Scott Donaldson's Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet's Life should help to revive appreciation for this solitary figure and the unique resonance of his work.
(W. S. Merwin, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry)
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