Doren Robbins


Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos, CA 94022
(650) 32949-7678

Author's Bio

Doren Robbins is a poet and artist from the West Coats: Los Angeles, Oregon, Santa Cruz). His poems and artistic works have appeared in many journals, including Lana Turner, Salt, APR, Sulfur, Red Wheelbarrow, Kayak, Another Chicago Magazine. In 2021 Spuyten Duyvil Press published Sympathetic Manifesto: Selected Poems 1975-2015.  He lives in Santa Cruz and teaches writing courses at Foothill College.

From Prose Poetry Statement of Craft for Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California (ed. Christopher Buckley and Gary Young 2008). I do not work in formal structures, but I have worked diligently to create free verse and prose poem styles that retain the dynamics of what Walt Whitman called “the poetic quality.” My book, Parking Lot Mood Swing: Autobiographical Monologues and Prose Poetry, is formulated in prose, but it still retains poetic elements and qualities dynamically concerned with rhythm, repetition, metaphor, dream consciousness, lists, parallelism, diatribe, satire, elegy, comic-hyperbole, dramatic and interior monologue. It is well known that Ford and Pound believed poetry should be at least as well written as prose; the opposite is also true, especially in terms of sensitivity to sound, not to mention an active rhythmic phrasing flowing directly or erratically as emotional tone forces arrangements of meaning. Usually let down by what poetry omits, not to mention the glib self-satisfied manner of its implicit sense of such omission, I prefer exploring the works Celine, Miller, Beckett, Marguerite Young, Bellow, Kundera, Philip Roth, Thomas Bernard and Stephen Dixon. Yes, there are exceptions in poetry, and I am not arguing for the dominance of anything here; writers, once they find themselves, do what they like, that’s no secret. As a reader and as a writer I have a strong drive for the moment of serious or comic epiphany or non-epiphany that leads to insight. I found many of my “poems” dragging because they sometimes contained subjects demanding greater exposition, something other than lyrical, condensed, image-driven lines.

Publications & Prizes

Sympathetic Manifesto, Selected Poems 1975-2015 (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021)
Amnesty Muse (Lost Horse Press, 2011)
My Piece of the Puzzle (Eastern Washington University Press, 2005)
Driving Face Down (Eastern Washington University Press, 2001)
5 A.M.
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Miramar Poetry Journal
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Solo Novo
Spillway Magazine
Sulphur Review
Prizes won: 

PEN Josephine Miles book award, Blue Lynx Book Book Award, Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize Award, Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship,  California Arts Council.

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Heraclitus, Sophocles, Lao Tzu, Lady Murasaki, T'ang Dynasty poets, Ikkyū, Chaucer, Villon, Shakespeare, Blake, Baudelaire, Diderot, Sterne, Fielding, Balzac, Flaubert, Rimbaud, Nineteenth Century Russian Fiction, Conrad, Ford, Proust, Joyce, Beckett, Miller, Bellow, Duras, O'Connor, Bernhard, Hrabil, Roth, Whitman, Dickinson, Apollinaire, Cendrars, Rexroth, Neruda, Para, Rukeyser, Koch, Ginsberg, Stern, Ruth Stone.
What I'm reading now: 
Palimpsest by Gore Vidal, Amerika by Franz Kafka, Oxbow Kazoo by John Olson, Poems for the Unborn by John Solt, The Cult of the Avant-garde Artist by Donald Kuspit, The Earth Has A Soul by C.G. Jung, Crtifiction: Postmodern Essays by Raymond Federman

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Born in: 
Los Angeles
Raised in: 
Los Angeles, CA
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Last update: Jun 03, 2022