Saturday, September 27, 2008

Robert Dunn, RIP

A sad day for our Gazebo family; Robert Dunn, a gentle man who was one of our most popular and beloved readers passed away on Thursday.

I first met Robert at a reading at the Village Bookstore early in the summer of 2007. J R Turek was the feature, and as she was one of our earliest and most staunch supporters, and as I still had a few openings, I went to listen to her, to pass out a few flyers and, perhaps, recruit a few poets.

Robert read in the "open mike" portion. He was, as always, funny and insightful and thoroughly unique. He subsequently attended our Gazebo a number of times as an audience member, bringing, as his lawn chair, a wheelchair. Unique. A different drummer.

To everyone's delight, he also read for us, both last year and this summer. Last year he pitched in unquestioningly for two "crises" we had--first, pitched in on a moment's notice and read a few poems to help fill in some time occasioned by a couple of last minute reader cancellations.

The second "save", and one I will always remember fondly, occurred when Denis Gray, our last reader of the 2007 season, found himself enveloped by darkness-- the late August sun fell on us too early. Robert again came to the rescue--Denis read his marvelous work by the light of Robert's flashlight, which Robert held expertly over Denis' shoulder.

Robert's poetry was refreshing and comical, in a wry, intelligent manner.
His work, like Robert himself, was simply...unique.

I won't pretend I knew him well; although it was on my Fall "to do" list, I never even made it to his Asbestos readings. But he always had a kind word, or at least a curmudgeonly-humorous one, whenever we met, and I will always consider myself a huge Robert Dunn fan.

I understand that there will not be public services, but that there will be a memorial for him at The Vault, 90-21 Springfield Blvd, Queens Village. on Oct. 11th at 9:00 PM.and a small memorial at The Farmingdale Reading Series, Saturday, October 4, 2008 1:30 PM The Farmingdale Public Library 116 Merritts Road (Downstairs: Room A).

Our literary circle is poorer for his passing. On behalf of all of us here at the Summer Gazebo Readings series, we wish his family and friends peace.

No comments: