Robert Creeley Remembered - Ken Thompson
As part of the 50th anniversary calendar of special events, the poet (and former Academy faculty member) Robert Creeley had been engaged to give a public reading on April 10, and to work with groups of students the following day. Sadly, Mr. Creeley, who was 78, passed away one week before the engagement. Several members of the campus community, who were looking forward to his visit, marked his passing by sharing Creeley's work with students and faculty in the three classes to which Creeley would have spoken.
Karen McKinnon Stibolt (mother of Daniel Ian McKinnon '85) studied alongside Robert Creeley in the early 1960's, and the two poets had remained friends and colleagues over the years. Creeley wrote the introduction to Karen’s most recent collection of poetry, Coming True published in 2000 by Watermelon Mountain Press. Karen, joined by her husband Richard Stibolt, read and discussed five poems Creeley had read for her or that they had discussed, all written between 1957 and 1962: "For Love," "The Flower," "A Wicker Basket," "The Innocence," and "If You." Because of her association with Creeley during those years, Karen was able to replicate his tone and phrasing.
Creeley taught Latin at the Academy from 1957 to 1959. He is remembered fondly by David Denzler '60, who came all the way from his home in Maryland to share this day. David related that the study of Latin, not the boys' favorite subject, encouraged them to "get Creeley off topic" by asking to hear stories of his life serving in the ambulance corps during the Burma campaign and of his relationships with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and other up and coming writers. David spoke of the profound good humor and humanity of this man, whom he refers to as "his most favorite of his favorite teachers."