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Robert Baird

Robert Baird is an editor at Esquire in the US.

‘Lincoln in the Bardo’

Robert Baird, 29 March 2017

George Saunders​ has long had a thing for ghosts, especially ghosts who haven’t figured out that they’re dead. The title story of his first collection, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996), concerned a down-on-its-luck theme park with a Blacksmith Shoppe, a ninety-foot section of the Erie Canal, and a holographic projection of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States....

David Means

Robert Baird, 10 August 2016

David Means​ wrote a novel. David Means wrote a novel! Reading the hype around Hystopia – the new novel, the first novel, so far the only novel by the American writer David Means – you have to wonder how much pressure Means resisted from his publishers to forswear the pleasures of the customary gnomic cipher (American Enchiridion, The Accidental Occidental) and just call the...

Denise Levertov

Robert Baird, 24 September 2014

The daughter​ of a schoolteacher from Wales and a Christianised Russian Jew, Denise Levertov was born in Essex and made her reputation in America writing poems in and about Mexico, Provence and North Vietnam. She was, one reviewer said, ‘incomparably the best poet of what is getting to be known as the new avant-garde’, and yet her radicalism was a matter of substance rather than...

Robert Duncan’s Dream

Robert Baird, 23 October 2013

As a boy, Robert Duncan had a recurring dream. He would imagine himself in the middle of a treeless field. The ripe grass rippled, though there was no wind, and the light, as he later remembered, ‘was everywhere’, though there was no sun to be seen. Seeing himself in the centre of a circle of children, all of them singing and playing ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’,...

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