We received the sad news that Robert Bowen, who was married to poet Amy Lemmon, died from injuries sustained in a terrible accident. Robert was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle in Manhattan. Amy and their two children, Stella and Bobby, are in our thoughts and prayers.
Amy is facing a tough future as she manages childcare as a single mother of two children, one with special needs. Amy has written eloquently here, in Saint Nobody, and on her blog about her family life. I'm going to post a poem of Amy's that I find especially moving later on today.
So many have asked how they can help. Amy's colleagues and friends have set up a PayPal account for Stella and Bobby. To contribute, follow this link. Enter firstname.lastname@example.org in the "to" box and your own e-mail in the "from" box. After you've filled in the amount of your contribution, click the "personal" tab. You need a PayPal account for this transaction but setting one up is quick and easy.
Amy sends along this message:
Bob's passing is a great loss for the poetry world, as well as for the many poets who love him. Although music was his main medium of expression, poetry was essential to him, and many of his compositions were inspired by poems. Bob was the first reader (and best reader) for my work over the years and my main role model in the creative process. He taught me by example how to value art above all life's other exigencies, and how to press on in the face of rejection and discouragement. "There is no failure," he always said. I definitely could not have written Saint Nobody without him. I dedicated my chapbook, Fine Motor, to Bob with this quote from T. S. Eliot, 'For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.' Pax et amor, R.E.B. III."
Robert was an enormously talented jazz musician and from what I've been told by those who knew him he was a generous and gifted teacher as well. And he was a lot of fun. If you would like to post a remembrance, please do so in the comments or you can send them to me at email@example.com.
We understand that friends are planning a memorial concert. We'll post the particulars as soon as we know them.
Please be generous.