• Miriam Nichols
Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)


Alight with counter-cultural energy, Berkeley was a revelation and a coming-of-age moment for Blaser when he arrived as a student in 1944. There he met poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer, and became involved in the study of the modern and contemporary arts with them. The emphasis in this chapter is on the Berkeley context, including the poetry circles that drew Blaser’s attention, his interest in surrealism, and the classes with medievalist Ernst Kantorowicz. These were Blaser’s apprenticeship years in both scholarship and poetry. This chapter follows him through the collapse of his Catholic world view and the beginnings of his exploration of a secularized sacred. At Berkeley, Blaser also found expression for his homosexuality with his first long-term partner, the biochemist James Felts.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam Nichols
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the Fraser ValleyAbbotsfordCanada

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