"I'm an incurable mimic and there were times when that took over." -- David Bromige in conversation with Doug Powell.

Born in London, England on October 23, 1933, Bromige was a Canadian who retired from teaching literature at the Sonoma State University. He was on the periphery of the TISH poetry scene at UBC in the 1960s, mostly writing plays at the time. He published numerous poetry titles including Spells and Blessings with Talonbooks in 1974; then several books in the U.S. from Black Sparrow Press, most notably Desire: Selected Poems 1963-1987 and a volume of short fiction entitled Men, Women & Vehicles. In 1991 he released Tiny Courts in a world without scales (sic) which he describes as a 'Canadian' book. Bromige also taught at U.C. Berkeley and at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He won the 1988 Western States Book Award for his Selected Poems. David Bromige died on June 3, 2009.

Selected Bibliography:

The Gathering. Buffalo, N.Y.: Sumbooks, 1965.

The Ends of the Earth. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1968.

Please, Like Me. Illus. Sherril Jaffe. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1968.

Threads. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1971.

Birds of the West. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1973.

Ten Years in the Making: Selected Poems, Songs, & Stories, 1961-1970. Writing 13. Vancouver: Vancouver Community Press, 1973. (New Star)

Three Stories. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1973.

Out of my Hands. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1974.

Spells and blessings. Talonbooks, 1974

Tight Corners & What's Around Them: Prose & Poems. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1974.

Desire: Selected Poems 1963-1987. Black Sparrow Press.

Tiny Courts in a world without scales. London, Ont.: Brick Books, 1991.

The Harbormaster of Hong Kong. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1993.

Men, Women & Vehicles. Black Sparrow Press.

Piccolo Mundo. Coach House Books, 1998. Co-author.

if wants to be the same as is: Essential Poems of David Bromige (New Star 2018) 9781554201341

[BCBW 2019]

*****

David Bromige (1933-2008)

?I dreamt of some land where no one spoke my language? and there it was we met? I woke beside someone like you, speaking a kind of English, laughing?? ? David Bromige

David Bromige was on the periphery of the TISH poetry scene at UBC in the 1960s. TISH poet Fred Wah published Bromige?s first chapbook, The Gathering, from Buffalo, in 1965, having been urged to do so by poet/guru Robert Duncan, who Wah had met in Albuquerque, in 1963. ?I thought of him [Bromige] at UBC as an English poet,? says Wah. In fact, he was.

Bromige later taught at U.C. Berkeley and at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He died in Sebastopol, California on June 3, 2009. Ten years ago, Rolf Maurer of Vancouver received an email from publisher Ken Edwards in London asking if Vancouver?s New Star Books wished to co-publish a collected works of David Bromige. Eight years later Maurer received a 1,200-page manuscript. ?So, I freaked out,? Maurer says.

After almost fifty per cent of the manuscript was jettisoned, Maurer eventually hosted ?a good turnout of people who knew David Bromige back in the twentieth century? at a communal poetry reading at Vancouver Co-op Books for Bromige?s 624-page retrospective volume, if wants to be the same as is: Essential Poems of David Bromige (New Star $45), co-edited by David Bromige, Jack Krick and Bob Perelman who praised Bromige?s ?appetite for poetry, the quickness of his wit, his unceasing eloquence and his goofiness.?

Dozens of readers had already read works by Bromige at similar events in Sebastopol, San Fran≠cis≠co, Philadel≠phia, New York and Wash≠ing≠ton. Even though Bromige had ?left the building? ten years before, documentary film footage made his presence felt during the culmination of the author-less book tour in Vancouver. Participants included Fred Wah, Mered≠ith Quar≠ter≠main, Peter Quar≠ter≠main, George Bow≠er≠ing, Clint Burn≠ham, Macken≠zie Ground, Paul DeBar≠ros, Anakana Schofield, David Bromige?s son Chris and his grand-daugh≠ter Joni.

[BCBW 2019]