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Big Joy Oral Histories: P

Peters, Robert

Interviewee: Robert Peters
Date of interview: 2010
Extent: 10 minutes, 51 seconds

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Biography:
Robert Louis Peters (October 20, 1924 - June 13, 2014) was an American poet, critic, scholar, playwright, editor, and actor born in an impoverished rural area of northern Wisconsin in 1924. He held a PhD in Victorian Literature. His poetry career began in 1967 when his young son Richard died unexpectedly of spinal meningitis. The book commemorating this loss, Songs for a Son, was selected by poet Denise Levertov to be published by W. W. Norton in 1967, and it still remains in print. Songs for a Son began a flood of poetry. Shortly after his divorce from his wife Jean, Peters met poet Paul Trachtenberg and established a relationship lasting more than 36 years. The two appear in the Broughton-Singer film "Devotions."

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