The Messianic Trees is the first major collection of thirty years of poetry by Kit Robinson, one of the core members of the Bay Area literary renaissance and language writing movement. This collection ranges from The Dolch Stanzas (1976) to 9:15 (2003), comprising work from thirteen books of Robinson’s poetry.
Kit Robinson is a Bay Area poet, writer, and musician. He was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1949, graduated from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, and earned a BA in philosophy and English literature at Yale University. He is the author of two dozen collections of poetry, including Quarantina (Lavender Ink, 2022), Thought Balloon (Roof, 2019), Leaves of Class (Chax, 2017), Marine Layer (BlazeVOX, 2015) and The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems, 1976-2003 (Adventures in Poetry, 2009).
A collaborator on The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco 1975–1980 (Mode A, 2010), Robinson has taught with California Poets in the Schools, performed with San Francisco Poets Theater and, with poet Lyn Hejinian, produced In the American Tree: New Writing by Poets, a weekly Bay Area radio show of interviews and readings. Kit has received fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, as well as an award from the Fund for Poetry. His papers are collected at The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
For Kit Robinson’s poetry, essays, reviews, interviews, and music, visit his website at https://kitrobinson.net/
Adventures in Poetry began publishing in 1968 as a mimeographed “little magazine,” and continued through 1976 with individual pamphlets, featuring work by Ted Berrigan, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bernadette Mayer, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, John Ashbery, Anne Waldman, and many others. After a long hiatus, it began publishing books by established and new innovative writers that are available exclusively through Zephyr Press.
The Messianic Trees
The Messianic Trees
"I consider Kit Robinson to be one of his generation's most accomplished, innovative, and genuinely witty writers." — Anselm Hollo
“Poetry finds its mastery along an interface of deep attachments, of memory and dream, with equally profound alienations of the built world. … In this collection, Kit Robinson takes his place in the night sky of American poetry as one of its most shapely constellations: the precisionist of broken glass, même.” — Barrett Watten
"It’s hard to account for the particular magic of Kit Robinson’s work, which is understated to the point of being laconic, never seems to worry much about presenting itself as 'poetic,' and slips without any apparent effort from puns to jokey asides to densely rhymed word play to philosopher quiddities to emotionally open 'truth statements' in a way that doesn’t privilege anyone tone over another: they are all treated as natural parts of the poem which in turn gets treated less like a precious verbal object than as a heightened perception of the everyday, as easy (and inevitable) as talking or breathing." — Rodney Koeneke
"Has Keith Robinson notes in this fine collection of his writing 'language courses through us… And we can tap into it at any time.' In this paced history, the many forms of his poetic notation shine with the humor of a poet who knows that 'dreams count you among the players in the all universe commodities sweepstakes,' and who works 'in collaboration with [his] trusted business partners, the birds.'” —Joanne Kyger
"With calm humor Kit Robinson has bounced through the decades, lifting his eyes from the pates below to the golden hoop through which he’s definitely dropped so many memorable books. The Messianic Trees (cue organ) is a xylophone for the soul; the music as he passes; poems that refresh eye and mind and shift for a second glance." —Tom Raworth