The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

A Tribute to Robert Dunn
Sept '08

From the Editor:

Robert Dunn, a poet, organizer and the consulting editor of Shabdaguchha, died last night (Sept 26, 2008) of a massive heart attack while exercising at his health club. He was taken to the hospital immediately but the doctors could not save him. Robert was the editor of Asbestos, previously he also edited The Medicinal Purposes Literary Review. He was the author of 8 collections of poetry and a household name of many New York poets. We are deeply shocked by the news of the death of this fine man who was a long time friend of Shabdaguchha family. We promise to keep his memory alive in the world of poetry.

Hassanal Abdullah, editor

Condolences and Concerns:

Dear Hassanal and Stanley:
Although Leigh Harrison had notified me immediately of the tragedy, I was touched to read your respectful recognition of this fine poet and human being. Robert’s passing is heartbreaking to me. He has been a wonderful friend, and we shared an enormous respect for each other’s work over many years. The poetry scene will never be the same without him.

In deep sorrow,

D. H. Melhem, NY

Dear Abdullah,
Very sorry to hear about the death of Robert Dunn. Please pass on my condolence to the family.
A poet less is a world less bright.

May we be sustained by our love of poetry.

Syed Shamsul Haq, Dhaka

Dear Hassanal:
What a fine friend you are. It’s moving to read of all the ways you seek to memorialize Robert Dunn. I hope to see you, perhaps in November (it’s wonderful that you’ll be working with Stanley). I’ve been hampered by my foot neuropathy and don’t travel around much. The problem is being examined.
With very best wishes and deep condolences,

D. H. Melhem, NY

Thank you Hassanal for sharing this sudden sad news. It is good to feel the closeness of community.

Marie Howe

Thanks Hassanal--
I did get two emails regarding Robert's passing. It is truly a shock and very sad news. It was a pleasure to have known him and his work. Best wishes,

Mindy Kronenberg, NY

Oh, so sorry to hear that

Nicholas Birns, NY

Dear Hassana,
That was lovely of you to send out that email. I will see you at one or more of the memorials, as I get info about them, and can email people.
With my warmest regards, and in deepest sympathy,
Leigh Harrison, NY

Dear Friends, The previous email about Robert Dunn and the memorials had a brief error and I apologize for that. Here is the correct information (as well as a list of the memorials that have been planned thus far.) The Sunday event at The Back Fence tomorrow (Sept. 28th) features Eugenia Macer-Story, NOT Goldiva (she had been scheduled for Oct. 4th) and now Eugenia wants everyone to know that -- in addition to future memorials (see below) she has decided to change the format for her performance tomorrow from a musical & humorous focus to one which is dedicated to Robert Dunn. She also intends to let the open mic portion of the afternoon be open for anyone who wishes to honor Robert.

In addition, at this time, the following memorials have been planned:

Saturday, October 11, 2008
The Vault / 9 p.m. till ?
90-21 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens, Queens

Sunday, October 12, 2008
Kairos Poetry Cafe / 2 p.m.
Church of the Village
for more information see

Su Polo has started a page for Robert. Please contact her for more information.
The Vault is also having a minute of silence for Robert for the two Saturdays before the Memorial, at tonight's VaultStock, and at next Saturday's Vault documentary viewing.
If you are planning any further events to honor Robert, please let me know. so I can spread the word. In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks to you all for your kind words and condolences. We will celebrate his life together soon.

Warmest regards to you all, from
Leigh Harrison, NY

I'd like to do something in memory of Robert at the New Year's Day show. Perhaps you would like to say something and read one of his poems? I may also discuss this
possibility with Leigh Harrison.

Bruce Weber, NY

So sad!

Maruf Raihan, Dhaka

I am shocked to receive the news that poet Dunn is no more within us! I pray all the peace for his departed soul, and consolation for his family.
Tushar Gayen, Toronto

Is anyone willing to do a collage "review" of Robert Dunn's collected work? I want to put something in the fall issue of Book/Mark (due probably Nov/Dec). Thanks--
Mindy Kronangerg, NY

oh ! it's a sad news. r u in a position to send a photograph to me. i have palanned to send u some issues of sk by sea mail, give me reminder after a week, so that it will be vivid news 4 us that u r alive.
Kajal Chakroborty, Kolkata

Dear Hassan,
i am profoundly shocked by the news of poet Robert Dunn's untimely demise. I knew him and remember his jest for life. When death silences such voice, they still resonates in the depth of silence.
My condolences.

Faruque Azam, NJ

Dear Hassan:
My deepest sympathies and prayers to you on the loss of your friend, Robert. I'm very sorry to hear the news on Robert's passing.

With love,
Frank Sisco

My condolences to Robert Dunn’s family and friends.

Celia Altschuler, Puerto Rico

Dear Hasan bhi
If possible, pls. send me an article on Poet Robert Dunn with his picture For Sangbad Samoeky.

Obayed Akash, Dhaka

he will be missed. robert was a kind person who made me laugh, he gave me my 1st feature at the astoria discount bookstore back in march 2004.
patricia carragon, NY

I'm truly sorry to hear this news. My condolences to his family.

Partho Banerjee, NY

My condolences!

Taser Mahmud, NY

Prio Hassan,
amio apnar shathe mormobedona prokash korci

valo thakon.

shihab shahriar, Dhaka

Is anyone willing to do a collage "review" of Robert Dunn's collected work? I want to put something in the fall issue of Book/Mark (due probably Nov/Dec).

Mindy Kronenberg, NY

কবি হাসানআল আব্দুল্লাহ

আপনাকে শুভেচ্ছা।
গভীরভাবে শোকাহত যে, কবি রবার্ট ডান আমাদের মধ্য থেকে প্রয়াত হয়েছেন। আর এ সংবাদটি শব্দগুচ্ছের পক্ষ থেকে অবগত করার জন্য কৃতজ্ঞতা রইল।
সকল মঙ্গল কামনা করি।

ওয়ালি মাহমুদ, বউর্নমাউথ
ইউ.কে (UK)

Hello Hassanal,
It's Mary here....I've been to a couple of your events, but not lately due to other matters.

Wow....I certainly do remember who Robert Dunn is....I hope his spirit is somewhere lovely. I said a prayer of peace for him.
I wish you and your family well and hope to see you sometime or another. Please keep me on your email listing.

Mary Shanahan, NY

Dear Hasanal,

The loss of Robert Dunn was a sad news for me. People, from all over the world traveling one place to the other, are searching for the mystery of truth & happiness. Poets like Robert Dunn who are trying to bring them closer through culture are so important to us. In a rainy afternoon in this Summer, I met him shortly in the Back Fence restaurant in Greenwich Village during the reading of Poet Rafiq Azad from Bangladesh organized by Asbestos Arts Group. It was a pleasant meeting and I thought the next time when I was in NY I would participate in such readings as he asked me to do so. Before that he left us but I will always remember him when I read my poems in NY.

Nazmun Nesa Piari, Germany

Very sad.
I didn't know him well, but what I did know, I liked.

Rob Frail, NY

Ah, Hassanal--how beautiful a tribute to Robert Dunn! And the perfect (alas) poem of his that you feature.

You truly honor me with placement on that page--with Robert, Stanley, and you. Only 49 years old--how especially awful. But he gave so much pleasure to us all--with his humor and his appreciation of us as poets. I think he understood how much we valued him, and it kept him moving ahead.

Of course you and Stanley figured most critically in his life. You both represented achievement in the larger world outside. You should take satisfaction in having enabled him to experience some important success which, in other ways, he believed had eluded him.

With warmest esteem,
D. H. Melhem, NY

Dear Hassanal,
My fondest and latest memory of Robert Dunn as I usually called him was that rainy day in Queens at your International Poetry Festival. He was looking actually healthier, younger and more energetic than I had seen him in the past. I acquired a taste for his wry humor, his kindness, compassion and his inability to skip a chance to spin a thought on its head, hopefully to squeeze out a laugh out of his audience no matter how small. I liked him alot but had a very short relationship with him.

Maria Lisella, NY

To all those who love modern poetry,
I was shocked to know that Robert Dunn, a poet whose craft, humor and philosophy had filled me with admiration, inspiration and enjoyment, has left us forever at such an early age. I will miss this talented poets very unique and fresh way of looking at things.

My heartfelt condolences to his family and to his fans,

Gayatri GaMarsh, NJ
(co-editor of Ananda Sangbad and Anandalipi)

ROBERT DUNN was a man of many hats: poet, humorist, author, raconteur, parody writer, satirist, editor, TV host, poetry-event host, live-performance poet, spoken-word recording artist, and occasional stand-up comedian. But I will remember most that Robert was--first and foremost--one of the best friends I ever had. A part of me will always love him, and his wit and humor, his kindness and generosity, his blazing smile, will remain with me always.

Leigh Harrison, NY

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