Robert Duncan (1919–1988) was a foremost figure in the San Francisco Renaissance and is considered one of the most accomplished and influential postwar American poets. He became a leading practitioner of nontraditional open form poetry, his later work shaped by ideas associated with Charles Olson and the Black Mountain School of poetry. During his lifetime, he published more than a dozen collections of poems, including those in this volume, which remain his best-known works.
Peter Quartermain taught contemporary poetry and poetics at the University of British Columbia for over thirty years. He is the author of Basil Bunting, Poet of the North; Disjunctive Poetics: From Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukofsky to Susan Howe; and Stubborn Poetries: Poetic Facticity and the Avant-Garde. He is the editor of Robert Duncan’s Collected Early Poems and Plays (UC Press).