Robert Dunn funeral memorials websites birthdate requests
Wed, 1 Oct 2008 12:13:12 EDT
Here is an enlarged list of memorials for Robert, info on three web sites devoted to him which were recently created, two requests from me, as well as Robert's birth date, which many of you asked for, and some news about his funeral.
First, the requests. Robert's mother, Marcia, has been residing at a rehabilitation and recuperation hospice for quite some time. As many of you already know, Robert -- one of the most devoted sons -- visited his mother almost daily and prior to that, had became too heavy for him to lift or move. She is receiving excellent care at Parker; I know, because I often visited her with Robert over the years, and I myself had gone alone to visit her on the Monday before Robert's death. I know that while you have sent me so many kind emails and calls of condolence, that it is also Marcia who needs to receive your messages. I am going to try to print some of the emails for her, but I would be very grateful if you would please take a few minutes to write her a card and send it to her via SNAIL MAIL. She desperately needs your words of kindness in a card she can read and hold -- and, after all, (as I have repeated to some of you in your own times of sorrow over the years -- "A joy shared is doubled, a sorrow shared is halved".) Please mail your cards to:
Mrs. Marcia Dunn / Room 513
Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care
271-11 76th Avenue
New Hyde Park, NY, 11040-1433
Be sure to include the room number with her name, so she receives it without difficulty. And thank you in advance, all who take the trouble to do this.
Secondly, I have decided, as many of you know, to compile a book of poetry
about Robert. This is not a new idea. It has been done in collections of
poets on Shakespeare, and in a wonderful memorial to Dylan Thomas, and I know
that many of us in the poetry circle, whom Robert considered his spiritual
family, will probably -- sooner or later -- be pulling our thoughts together to
say something about him. I have decided to make the deadline for
contributions to the anthology September 25, 2009, a year from the date of his death
and I will accept contributions from now until then by either email or snail
mail. (If you send it by email, please paste it in the body of the text --
I'm not terribly good with attachments). I believe that a number of people
might be willing to publish it in his honor once I finish collating it. I
already have been offered a wonderful poem about him by Patricia Carragon that
she read at the impromptu tribute Eugenia hosted last Sunday at the Back Fence.
Next, here are the three websites that have been set up in Robert's honor:
Again, here follows the extended list of upcoming live memorials:
(if you know of others, please let me know)
Saturday, October 4
Event starts 1:30
Open mic portion will include tributes to Robert
Hosted by Yolanda Coulaz
Saturday, October 11, 2008
90-21 Springfield Blvd.
Springfield Gardens, Queens
Hosted by Tone Bellizi
9pm till ?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Kairos Poetry Cafe / 2 p.m.
Church of the Village
In November, there will be a
event jointly sponsored by Cross-Cultural Publications & Shabdagucha
to be hosted by Stan Barkan, and Hassanal Abdullah of Shabdagucha (more news
when they finalize exact date/time/location). Stan published some of
Robert's books, and was the distributor for his CD, Sickly Minutes. Hassanal has
published work by Robert and me, and recently invited us to perform at the
10th Anniversary event for his bi-lingual magazine, Shabdagucha; Robert found
it charming that our performances were videotaped and seen by about 40 million
people -- overseas....
Regarding Robert's funeral, you all know that his family requested a private
service, held this past Sunday, Sept. 28th. They did not choose to invite
anyone else to participate at first, but later decided to invite both Babette
and myself. When they invited me late on Saturday, they swore me to secrecy,
and I planned to attend at first with a ride from Babette in her car, but
during a sleepless night Saturday, I felt that Robert's spirit was urging me to
stay with his mother at the nursing home, where she would have been alone,
while her son was buried. Thus I went to the hospice, where I remained with
Marcia during the time of the funeral. I later heard from Babette after she
had gone to the cemetery that she had told someone from his office
(there were a dozen of his co-workers from his office present along with
Babette and the family.) Later, I
asked about the service, and both Cindy (Robert's cousin) and Babette
separately told me that it was a lovely service, with a few people speaking about
their memories of Robert. For anyone who wishes to visit his gravesite (at
Wellwood Cemetery in Farmingdale) at a future time, we will plan small
excursions among ourselves, but please keep in mind that after a funeral, there is
generally no visiting again until one year after the burial, when a gravestone
is placed there during a memorial ceremony.
Lastly, for those of you who asked, Robert's dates were February 16, 1959 --
September 25, 2008
He lived for 49 years and seven-plus months, but he will live in the memory
of those who knew him, and who loved him, always.
With warmest regards to you all, from
|ROBERT DUNN POET, DIES TWICE (?)
by Gloria Hernish
(Queens, NY / October 3, 2008) In a bizarre—and potentially confusing coincidence, two poets, both named Robert Dunn, died in the last several weeks.
One was Robert Dunn, of Bayside, Queens, a noted and well-published star of the New York literary scene; the other Robert Dunn, a local light of Portsmouth, (New Hampshire).
In a quirky coincidence, both men passed away in the last few weeks, one in late August, and the other in late September. The Portsmouth Robert Dunn was noted for passing out his work in the streets of his town. He died in August of a lung disease. The New York City Robert Dunn was the author of numerous books, chapbooks, the former host of a noted cable television show (Poet to Poet), the emcee of many poetry events in and around the New York area, and had been widely published internationally. He passed away on Wednesday, September 25th, after a massive heart attack.
The fact that there were two Robert Dunns emerged yesterday, when the NYC Robert Dunn, who was renowned as a Robert Benchley-styled humorist and raconteur, was being memorialized by friends and family, when someone looked him up on the internet and found strange pictures of a thin man from Portsmouth being mentioned. It became apparent that their Dunn (in NYC), who was a man of large proportions, suddenly seemed to be very thin and from the wrong town. It soon became obvious that there were two Robert Dunns, who had died within weeks of each other.
The Portsmouth, NH, Robert Dunn was noted for being the Penny Poet for selling his work on the streets of Portsmouth, and had been the Poet laureate of Portsmouth. He was a beloved character, tall, thin, and was devoted to the cause of poetry.
For the record, the NYC Dunn was the author of numerous books, including Baffled in Baloneyville, Cannon Fodder, Horse Latitudes, Sunspot Boulevard, Playing in Traffic, and Zen Yentas in Bondage. His many chapbooks included Scowl, Love Bonkers All, Hurricane Norm, Nightmare Abbey Road, Trick Photography, Not a Happy Camper, and One hand Squashes the
Other. His longtime publisher, Stanley Barkan, of Cross-Cultural Communications,
in Merrick, L.I., said of Robert, He was truly one of those rarities—a poet who was not just for himself. We will miss his fine wit, his high level of integrity, and his genuine friendship.
Robert Dunn of NYC had also been the Editor-in-Chief of Asbestos Poetry Journal, the Managing Editor of Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, and the long-time host of the popular cable TV show, Poet to Poet, which aired from the early 1990s until 2001 on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and at a slew of cable affiliates around the United States, including Continental Cablevision (Ossining, NY), Community Voice Channel (Bolton, CT), and a station in Rockford, Illinois.
The NYC Dunn was also the host of events for both Poet to Poet, and Medicinal Purposes throughout the years, at such popular venues as the Back Fence, and at a performance space in Queens, NY called The Vault (which is itself sometimes confused with the sex-shop of the same name in Manhattan). His work appeared in poetry journals around the world, including magazines as far away as Wales, Australia, and in translation in Bengali in the magazine Shabdagucha, a bi-lingual poetry magazine published in NY for distribution in both New York City and overseas.
Immediately upon Mr. Dunns (NYC) death, several web sites and blogs have appeared about him. An anthology of poems written about him is being collected and collated by his long-time colleague and friend, Leigh Harrison, who is a poet and teacher of poetry by day and a musician and singer-songwriter at night.
She said, when interviewed for this article, I worked with Robert on the TV show for eight years, and as assistant editor of the magazine for several, as well—and we spent so many hours traveling to perform our poetry or music at readings and radio shows together. I feel as if Ive lost my best friend, and my brother. Robert was brilliantly witty, and generous to a fault. Ill probably be writing both poems and songs eventually, but I cant put it all into the right words yet.
Both Robert Dunns would appreciate the words of one wag, who offered the following clerihew (a 4-line poem using a name as the first line) in response to the coincidental deaths:
Robert Dunn and Robert Dunn
Wrote some verse and had some fun
Not sure when they both begun
But one things sure—theyre both now Done.