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Doren Robbins, MFA
English, Creative Writing, Honors, and FYE Instructor

Language Arts Division
     (650) 949-7678
     650-949-7695 (Fax)

Foothill campus
Office: 6008
Office Hours:
Online, Winter 2017/ TBA

On campus, Winter 2017/ TBA

Current: Twin Extra: A Poem In Three Parts (2016). Nominated for The Jewish National Book Award.

Recent books: Title To Pussy Riot (2014), and Amnesty Muse (2011). His 2008 collection, My Piece of the Puzzle, was awarded the Josephine Miles PEN Oakland National Poetry Award for 2008. The 2001 collection Driving Dace Down received The Blue Lynx National Poetry Prize.

Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, New Letters, Sulfur, Poetry International, and many other journals and anthologies.

From the publisher:

"Doren Robbins' latest collection, My Piece of the Puzzle, is as open and immediate as letters from a friend, albeit a friend who feels deeply the accumulated weight of experience. Suffused with an almost defiant tenderness, the poems speak of love and dispossession and loss, and of the power of memory to resuscitate fragments of our lives. They are at once a howl of finely tuned outrage at the world's unyielding brutality, which we can at times withstand only by becoming brutal ourselves, and a celebration of the human need to find something that endures to conjure meaning from impermanence."

Praise for My Piece of the Puzzle:

These are remarkable, fiery poems. Poems that would urge any poet on, language that tears open reality. I think this is Doren Robbins' finest book, and I've admired his work for a good while. The imagination, its energy and precision, is immense. There's a delicate observation of even the rawest materials, a tenderness for humanity in all its cruelty, stupidity, and often invisible dignity and grace, that feels to me like his peculiar, original contribution to--well, to the puzzle of what we have become: people, Americans, men and women today, above all those who are "absent," unregistered, undocumented in both senses.

Adrienne Rich

Doren Robbins grows evermore himself, evermore an original and reliable critic, prophet, singer. His poems are ever richer, combining now unfaltering powerful and tender memory with wisdom. Real wisdom. And he's writing the best political poems I know.

Gerald Stern

Doren Robbins's poems are both poignantly personal and boldly political. They are passionate and lyrical, as you expect of the best in poetry. He is a keen observer of family life as well as the larger world outside, and a pleasure to read.

Howard Zinn

For interview, live readings, selected writings and mixed-media art works go to:

Winter 2017 TBA

Currently on sabbatical

Course information:
The best way to reach me is through Email or see me personally for a conference.

Philosophical Ideas, all forms of artistic expression, working-class realities, nature, civil rights, ecology, economic justice, tragedy, satire and absurdity.

For comprehensive short bio go to:

For current work and schedule of readings:

Personal Quote:
"Complex seeing must be practiced."

Bertolt Brecht

"Being calm amounts to a failure to understand one's true situation."

From Susan Sontag's essay on Antonin Artaud

"Art itself could probably not produce the renascence which implies justice and liberty. But without it, that renascence would be without forms and, consequently, would be nothing."

Albert Camus

Last update: 2016-09-27
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