Robert McDonald was born in 1963 in Michigan, and was raised in a small town that was swallowed up by suburban Detroit. He attended Michigan State University, where he studied German and then poetry. Diane Wakoski, the Poet-in-Residence at MSU, was a big influence on his writing. After he got an M.A. in English, he moved to Chicago, where’s he been ever since, working, writing, and basically taking advantage of the pluses of city life.
McDonald cites Frank O’Hara, Gertrude Stein, Wakoski, Frank Bidart, and Charles Simic as early inspiration for his poetry. More recent influences include the writers Lisa Jarnot, Peter Grizzi, Carol Maso, and Anne Carson. He describes himself as, "...a life-long print junkie, who reads more than just about anyone I know, novels, poetry, history, memoirs, criticism, comic books, young adult fiction, yada yada yada. Hell would be a waiting room with nothing to read."
His poetry and fiction have appeared in many small journals and zines, including The New York Review, The Red Cedar Review, paragraph, Mudfish, Southern Poetry Review, Oyster Boy Review, and New American Scurvy, among others. Readers may contact the author through e-mail.
The following pieces were recorded at the e-poets network studios in April 2004. Audition them by clicking on their titles:
- April 2004