Paul Blackburn (1926 – 1971) was born in Vermont and cared for largely by his maternal grandparents on their farm before moving to Greenwich Village at the age of 14 with his mother, poet Frances Frost, who encouraged him to pursue his interest in poetry. Educated between New York University and the University of Wisconsin, after getting out of the Army Blackburn corresponded with Ezra Pound and hitchhiked to Washington, DC, to visit Pound at St. Elizabeths Hospital. Through this encounter, Blackburn was introduced to a wide range of poets and was always known for the depth of encouragement and support he extended to all kinds of poets. Through Pound he also became immersed in the Troubadour tradition, becoming one of the great translators of both Provencal and Spanish, extending to his ground-breaking work on the great Argentinian exile Julio Cortázar. Called the pre-spirit of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, he gave the first reading there in September of 1966, and his poetry, translations, and organization and recording of early downtown readings, exerted a steady and widespread influence across a wide range of aesthetic practices. In his lifetime Blackburn published thirteen books of original poetry, as well as five major works of translation. Twelve other books were published posthumously. The Collected Poems of Paul Blackburn (1985) and The Selected Poems of Paul Blackburn (1989) are both available from Persea Books, and a reprint of Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry, is due out from New York Review Books in 2016.