In the Hall of Light

The Work and Life of Robert Sund

Robert Sund (1929-2001) was an award-winning poet, painter, musician, calligrapher and an eloquent spokesman for his native Northwest landscape, a place he called the Ish River Country.

He intended to be a doctor until the joy of making poetry overtook him. Robert lived simply, in what fellow poet Tim McNulty describes as “a celebration of attentiveness.” His book Ish River won the Washington State Governor’s Award for best new book of poetry.

Archival footage, interviews with colleagues and friends, and visual poems examine the unique life and work of this much loved Northwest luminary.

For this is the hall of light
and only the
dancer and the pure of heart
find their way here.

- Robert Sund

Written, directed and produced by Maggie Wilder. 50 Minutes. DVD

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Taos Mountain Cover

Taos Mountain
By Robert Sund
Edited and with an afterword by Glenn Hughes
Robert Sund Poet's House Press

Taos Mountain is the third full-length book of poems by the celebrated Northwest poet, painter, and calligrapher Robert Sund (1929-2001). Faithful to Sund’s stated wishes, it was posthumously edited from a sizable manuscript written during a three-month stay in Taos, New Mexico, during the Spring of 1991.

The close attention to nature and the celebration of craft and meditation that have always characterized Sund’s poetry are here brought to bear on the landscape of Taos, its surroundings, and its people. As in his earlier work, a poetry of exuberance and delight in creative work, of fresh perception and quiet longing, and of harmony between human beings and nature, is at times leavened by poems of lamentation over spiritual forgetfulness and loss. The result is a sharply-etched, mature poetic response to a unique place and its unique people, as well as a distinctive vision of timeless beauty and wisdom.

This special, first edition of Taos Mountain is illustrated with seventeen high-quality digital reproductions of Sund’s paintings, the majority of them examples of the delicately beautiful “blanket paintings” that he began to create while in Taos. They complement and extend the vision of this poetry, with its recurrent imagery of weaver and loom and colored thread, and of spiritual presence in craft, landscape, and dream.

Taos Mountain is a welcome addition to Sund’s two earlier award-winning collections, Bunch Grass (1969) and Ish River (1983).

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Hard cover, 7.25" x 11", 112 pages, 16 paintings. $60

Taos Mountain CoverPoems from Ish River Country
By Robert Sund
Shoemaker & Hoard

Poems from Ish River Country collects the complete poems of poet, painter, and calligrapher Robert Sund. His few published volumes of poetry and frequent public readings established his reputation as one of the most distinctive poetic voices of the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoyed a tremendous popularity. His short, imagistic poems, in the tradition of William Carlos Williams and Kenneth Rexroth, distill the essence of the Northwest landscape and in plain speech celebrate themes of family, friendship, work and quiet contemplation.

Included here are the poet's award-winning collections, Bunch Grass, which gave literary voice to the rolling wheat country east of the Cascade Mountains in his native Washington State, and Ish River, which celebrated the misty river landscape of the Puget Sound country, a place, in the poet's words, "between two mountain ranges where many rivers run down to an inland sea." But the great part of this collection contains poems unpublished during the poet's lifetime or published only in very limited editions. There is also a generous selection of his translations, from Issa, Buson, Basho, and most especially from the Swedish poet Rabbe Enckell, with whom Sund felt a close affinity.

Hardcover, 6.25 " x 9.25 ", 272 pages, $25
Softcover, 5.5 " x 8.3 ", 272 pages, $16

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