BOULDER, Colo. - Edward Dorn, 70, a renowned poet who attended the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina, has died.
Mr. Dorn, who died Friday, wrote the Western work "Gunslinger," which was described by poet Robert Duncan as "an American Canterbury Tales."
Mr. Dorn was born in 1929 in Villa Grove, Ill. He once described himself in a biographical note as having been "educated at the University of Illinois, and somewhat corrected at Black Mountain College."
At the height of the Depression, a disaffected band of teachers and students took refuge in the North Carolina mountains and opened the college with one rule: Be intelligent.
That rule at Black Mountain College proved enough to guide minds that went on to become some of the most creative of the last half of the 20th century.
Choreographer Merce Cunningham, film director Arthur Penn, contemporary artists Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Robert Rauschenberg were there, as were avant-garde composer John Cage and poet Robert Creeley. They either taught or took classes during the school's 23-year run.
The college closed because of financial problems in 1956.
"Gunslinger" was Dorn's best-known work, but he wrote more than three dozen books of poetry; one novel, The Rites of Passage, in 1965; and a collection of short fiction, Some Business Recently Transacted in the White World.
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Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:25:38 EDT