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Robert Hershon

Robert Hershon was born in 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, where he grew up. In 1957, after receiving a degree in journalism from New York University and working as a copy boy and editorial assistant at a local newspaper, Hershon moved to San Francisco, where lived for five years, working as a newspaper reporter.

In 1962, Hershon began writing his first poems and soon returned to New York City, where he edited trade magazines for a living. In 1967, Hershon published his first poetry collection, Swans Loving Bears Burning the Melting Deer (New/Books) and since then has published thirteen collections, most recently Freeze Frame (Pressed Wafer, 2015) and Goldfish and Rose (Hanging Loose Press, 2013).

Hershon served as the executive director of the Print Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization for educational and arts printing, for more than three decades, and has been the coeditor of Hanging Loose Press and Hanging Loose magazine since 1966. He is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and three fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Freeze Frame (Pressed Wafer, 2015)
Goldfish and Rose (Hanging Loose Press, 2013)
Calls from the Outside World (Hanging Loose Press, 2006)
The German Lunatic (Hanging Loose Press, 2000)
Into a Punchline: Poems 1984–1994 (Hanging Loose Press, 1994)
How to Ride on the Woodlawn Express (Sun Press, 1985)
The Public Hug: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1980)
A Blue Shovel (Hanging Loose Press, 1979)
Rocks and Chairs (Some of Us Press, 1975)
Little Red Wagon Painted Blue (Unicorn Press, 1972)
Grocery Lists (The Crossing Press, 1972)
4-Telling (with Emmett Jarrett, Dick Lourie, Marge Piercy)(New/Books, 1971)
Atlantic Avenue (Unicorn Press, 1970)
Swans Loving Bears Burning the Melting Deer (New/Books, 1967)

By This Poet


International Incidents


Wang Ping asks if
we went to a seder
last night
               She did,
in Minneapolis
No, I say, we’re not
as though we constantly
overlook details


The teachers in the lounge
crowd around the
Swedish visitor
You must be very proud
one of them beams
to be Swedish
She has no idea
what that means
She says,
I don’t dislike
being Swedish


Who’s ever met a Bulgarian?
he would shout in the bar
Then one night
two homely blond sisters
smiled and said
We are Bulgarians!
They smiled for two weeks
then went away forever