Bromige, David

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David Bromige, now a resident of the Bay Area, is often associated with the Black Mountain School via the Vancouver nexus of poets centered around the magazine Tish.

He was born to Harold and Ada Bromige on 22 October 1935 in London, England, where his father was a director of documentary films. Until he settled in the Bay Area in the early '70s, Bromige led a peripatetic life: he travelled, held various jobs, and received an education in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

After attending prep school at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Boys in London, Bromige worked, from 1950 to 1953, as a cowman on dairy farms in England, Sweden, and Canada. During the '50s he also supported himself as an attendant in mental hospitals in Canada and as an elementary school teacher in England and Vancouver, British Columbia. In the early 1960s he served as a free lance critic for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver.

It was during his years in Vancouver that Bromige began gaining a reputation for his writing. In 1961 he won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Playwriting Prize for "The Cobalt Poet," and in 1962 he won the KVOS TV Playwriting Prize for "Save What You Can." In 1961 Bromige divorced his wife of four years, actress Ann Livingston, and married Joan Peacock, with whom he had a son Christopher.

Bromige received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1962. That same year he began working toward his Master's Degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Two years later he received his degree from Berkeley and returned to the University of British Columbia, where he worked as an instructor in English for a short time. Bromige then returned to Berkeley where he continued his studies and taught from 1964 1970. In 1965 he published his first book, The Gathering, and he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the poetry of Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan -- Duncan having been particularly influential to Bromige's own work. In 1970 Bromige married the writer Sherril Jaffe, and he began teaching English at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California -- a position he still holds.

Much of Bromige's influence on contemporary poetry has been the result of his association with various journals. He was poetry editor of the Northwest Review (1963-64), and editor of Raven (1960-62), R.C. Lion (1966-67), and Open Reading (1972-76).

Starting with his earliest work, Bromige's poetry has been centered on the page, not in the "real" world. He describes his writing as an exploration process, saying, "I am interested in poetry as speech arising from dumb desire and passion and arousing further word clusters until constellations emerge I had previously no knowledge were within me." Bromige's publications include: The Gathering (Sumbooks, 1965), Please, Like Me (Black Sparrow Press, 1968), The Ends of the Earth (Black Sparrow Press, 1968), The Quivering Roadway (Archangel Press, 1969), In His Image (Twybyl Press, 1970), Threads (Black Sparrow Press, 1970), The Fact So of Itself (1971), They Are Eyes (Panjandrum Press, 1972), Birds of the West (Coach House Press, 1973), Ten Years in the Making: Selected Poems, Songs, and Stories 1961 1970 (Vancouver Community Press, 1973), Tight Corners and What's Around Them (Black Sparrow Press, 1974), Spells and Blessings (Talon Press, 1974), Out of My Hands (Black Sparrow Press, 1974), Credences of Winter, (Black Sparrow Press, 1976), My Poetry (The Figures, 1980), Red Hats (Tonsure Press, 1986), and Desire : Selected Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 1988).

From the guide to the David Bromige Correspondence, 1966-1970, (University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf David Bromige Correspondence, 1966-1970 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Lyn Hejinian Papers, 1966-2004 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Gitin, David. Papers, 1968-1993. Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Parnassus: poetry in review records, 1971-1996 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Leland Hickman Papers, 1950-1991 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Ron Silliman Papers, 1965-1988 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Berrigan, Ted person
correspondedWith Bly, Robert person
correspondedWith Brautigan, Richard person
correspondedWith Corman, Cid person
correspondedWith Creeley, Robert, 1926- person
correspondedWith Duncan, Robert Edward, 1919- person
correspondedWith Eshleman, Clayton person
associatedWith Gitin David person
correspondedWith Hejinian, Lyn person
correspondedWith Hickman, Leland person
correspondedWith Levertov, Denise, 1923- person
correspondedWith Oppen, George person
correspondedWith Parnassus: poetry in review corporateBody
correspondedWith Silliman, Ronald, 1946- person
correspondedWith Snyder, Gary, 1930- person
correspondedWith Wakoski, Diane person
Place Name Admin Code Country
American poetry--20th century


Birth 1935-10-22

Death 2009-06-03





Ark ID: w6mm8qc8

SNAC ID: 75603122