Robert Vivian

For years I resisted the idea of getting a website: my reluctance stemmed from many factors, too many to list here. But foremost among them was this--why have a website when one feels, as I did, that I hadn't even "discovered" my true voice? And though the question lingers (for me, the notion of voice suggests a fixity, almost an end of growth) after writing dervish essays for the last two years--a kind of mania of writing, a kind of free-wheeling love--I felt a humble need to share, however imperfectly, however clumsily. Thus the birth of this website. And this vast gratitude--to my friends in Turkey, to Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Mandelstam, all the gobsmacked ones. My love for you--my love in you is infinite because it is infinity itself, and nothing I can claim as my own. And yet "thou movest me, thou movest me, thou movest me"--and now I am free.

Basari University, Samsun, Turkey, 2014

Welcome

Very happy to report that copies of Mystery My Country will be available before too long at Anchor & Plume (month or so). And some good news--"Gobsmack Essay" has been listed as notable essay in The Best American Essays 2016. This is especially wonderful, as I am alongside three former advisees from VCFA and four dear friends and colleagues--congrats to each one of them!

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Robert Vivian was born in Denver, Colorado in 1967 and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He teaches at Alma College and in the low-residency MFA program at the Vermont College Of Fine Arts. Dozens of his plays have been produced in New York City and elsewhere, and his poems, essays, and stories have appeared in many literary journals including Georgia Review, Harper’s, Ecotone, Creative Nonfiction, and others. He has published four novels—The Tall Grass Trilogy (The Mover Of Bones, Lamb Bright Saviors, and Another Burning Kingdom), Water And Abandon, and two books of meditative essays, Cold Snap As Yearning and The Least Cricket Of Evening. His first book of dervish essays (or prose poems) Mystery My Country will be published in 2016 by Anchor & Plume. He has visited and taught in Turkey several times and has been heavily influenced by the works of Rumi. In the summer he tries to fly fish in northern Michigan every day and when he can’t, he dreams about it anyway.

collection of dervish essays (a new kind of prose poem)
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Mystery My Country

Cold Snap As Yearning

poetry
collection of dervish essays (new kind of prose poem)
co-written with the poet Richard Jackson
Very brief description goes here
Fiction
In this third and final volume of the trilogy, Vivian weaves the voices of Lem, Jackson, and Lem's estranged wife, Lissa, into an American triptych of longing, remembering, and innocence--of hopes almost fulfilled and inevitably disappointed--as we race to Jackson's reckoning with history that must have its day.
“Robert Vivian’s prose is lyrical and harrowing—harrowing in the Biblical sense.”
Nonfiction
“Robert Vivian is one of the finest, most lyrical essayists of his time.”
–Sue William Silverman

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