Farnsworth, Robert 1954-

views updated

Farnsworth, Robert 1954-

(Robert L. Farnsworth)


Born April 8, 1954, in Boston, MA; son of William (an engineer/executive) and Jean (a homemaker) Farnsworth; married Georgia N. Nigro (a professor of psychology), August 28, 1977; children: Tobias G. Education: Brown University, B.A., 1976; Columbia University, M.F.A., 1979.


Office—Depaartment of English, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240. E-mail—rfarnswo@ bates.edu.


Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, visiting assistant professor of English, 1982-83; Colby College, Waterville, ME, visiting assistant professor of English, 1983-89; Bates College, Lewiston, ME, lecturer/writer in residence, department of English, 1990-2001.


National Endowment for the Arts, fellowship in poetry, 1989.


Three or Four Hills and a Cloud (poems), Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 1982.

Honest Water (poems), Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 1989.

Frequent contributor to literary journals including Southern Review, Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly, Ploughshares, Malahat Review, and Boulevard. Poetry editor, American Scholar, 1997-2001.


Robert Farnsworth told CA: "I write poems to make sense of experience, and to contribute in a small way to the culture of my region, New England (where culture is understood, in Williams' broad terms, as the relation between a place and the lives lived within it). Not surprisingly, the poet-elders I still most revere are regionally associated people such as Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, and Philip Booth. I would like to think that my apparently slow production results from deliberation and care, though one must suspect such conclusions as self-serving, I suppose. I have been privileged to make my living as a teacher of poetry, an occupation that rewards and engages, but does devour energies that might otherwise have turned to more writing. My instincts are painterly (that is, visual, evocative, and symbolic in nature and inclination), and musical, insofar as I have always wanted my poems to be able to think and sing."