In this biography Ekbert Faas pioneers a new kind of "life-writing." It tells its stories through the emotions, thoughts, and, above all, language of the dramatis personae, exchanging the authorial omniscience of traditional biography for an utter fidelity to sources. Allowing for contradictory viewpoints, anecdotes are told and re-told, letting Creeley reveal himself beneath the myths created by self-invention, wishful thinking, and, sometimes, distortion. Excerpts from autobiographical writings by the poet's first wife, Ann McKinnon, complete this intriguingly colourful and complex picture.
"Robert Creeley is a major contribution to the understanding of Creeley's writing, and to an understanding of the important scene of the New American Poetry, especially in the years of its founding ... Faas's biography of the man is brutally honest (as is Creeley in his own writing) in its portrait of a driven, often violent and alienated consciousness who just happened to turn his demons into some of the most powerful poetry of our time." Douglas Barbour, Department of English, University of Alberta