Michael Boughn is a writer and teacher whose published works include poetry, literary essays, short stories, and young adult non-fiction. He has also taught part-time at the University of Toronto since 1993, covering courses in post-modern fiction, poetry, children’s literature, American literature, detective fiction and science fiction, among others.

Born in Riverside, California (home of the Parent Navel Orange Tree and Easter Sunrise Services) in 1946, he was a third-generation Californian, leaving in 1966 because of his opposition to the illegal and immoral war against Viet Nam. Landing in Vancouver, he enrolled at Simon Fraser University--after planting trees in the bush for a year--where he studied with Robin Blaser who introduced him to the work of William Blake, Ezra Pound, H.D. William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Jack Spicer, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn and others. It was the defining moment of his life.

 From 1970 to 1979, Boughn worked on the lakefront in Toronto loading and unloading boxcars and trailers at Smith Transport, while organizing against the Viet Nam war and supporting anti-racist politics within the south Asian community in Toronto. In 1978 he returned to California where he ran a high speed press in a metal stamping factory in Silicon Valley while finishing his BA at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He continued to develop his poetry during these years, though never publishing.

 In 1978, he moved to Buffalo, N.Y. where he joined the graduate program at SUNY Buffalo. From 1980-1985 he worked as Robert Creeley’s graduate assistant and a cataloger in the Poetry/Rare Books Collection. His dissertation was a descriptive bibliography of H.D., published in 1993 by the University of Virginia. Graduating with a PhD. in 1986, he remained in Buffalo, working with another of his teachers, the poet John Clarke, to produce the magazine “intent: a newsletter of talk, thinking and document.”  At this time he started a micro press, shuffaloff, which over the years has irregularly published work by Robert Creeley, John Clarke, Robin Blaser, and a number of younger poets including Elizabeth Willis, Jorge Guitart, and Lisa Jarnot.

 In 1991, Boughn married Elizabeth Brown, and the following year returned to Canada. He has lived there since, becoming a Canadian citizen in September, 2001. He and his wife currently live in Toronto with their two children, Amelia and Sam. His older daughter, Kate, who just had her first child, is a jewelry designer in Charleston, S.C. (http://www.katedavisjewelry.com/). He recently finished a “post-Lucretian faux micro-epic” called Cosmographia. and is now trying to figure out what to do witht he rest of his life. 


Random information of possible interest:

My  Friggin Speech.

From the Fugs' first album--for Robin (and for me): Carpe Diem

Jack Kerouac singing "Ain't We Got Fun"

A link to some stuff on Allen Ginsberg (including a story by Patti Smith).

Eat your heart out, Julie Andrews! ("My Favorite Things" by Aki Takase and Maria João)


Selected publications:



Selected Essays:

Some unpublished stuff: