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Robert McNamara is the author of three books of poetry, Incomplete Strangers, The Body & the Day, and Second Messengers. His work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including The Sorrow Psalms: A Book of Twentieth Century Elegy and The Book of Irish-American Poetry. He co-translated The Cat Under the Stairs, a selection of the poems of Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, the distinguished Bengali poet.

After brief forays into printing, house painting and auto mechanics, Bob settled in academe, and for thirty years taught at the University of Washington, where he also served as University Director of the Puget Sound Writing Project, part of the National Writing Project, whose mission is “improving the teaching of writing and improving the use of writing across the disciplines by offering high-quality professional development programs for educators.” He has also taught for the Experimental College at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Rocky Mountain Writers Guild, and in the Certificate Program in Creative Writing offered by UW Extension. Since retiring from university teaching in 2016, he has volunteered with Minds Matter, helping to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for college.

He has received a number of awards and fellowships for his writing and translating, among them a Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA and a Fulbright Fellowship for language study and translation in Calcutta, India. In 1976 he founded L'Epervier Press, which in its fourteen years of activity published forty-five titles by more than thirty poets.