ROBINSON JEFFERS
TOR HOUSE FOUNDATION

 

 

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Photo by Jessica Malikowski

The Foundation sponsors events and publishes material designed to preserve and extend the cultural and literary legacy of Robinson Jeffers, poet of California.

 

 

 

The Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a nonprofit organization of volunteer members established in 1978 to acquire, maintain and provide for public access to Tor House, Hawk Tower and the surrounding gardens. 

 

       

 

 

Tor House Spring Poetry Series

Check out the Spring Poetry Series on our Events page.

2014 Garden Party May 4th, 2-5 p.m.

1914: "We had come without knowing it to our inevitable place."

 Tor House: 26304 Ocean View Ave, Carmel, CA 93923, 831-624-1813  

100 years ago this Spring Robinson and Una Jeffers travelled to Carmel to explore the Central Coast and Big Sur.  "When the stagecoach topped the hill from Monterey, and we looked down through pines and sea fogs on Carmel Bay, it was evident that we had come without knowing it to our inevitable place" wrote Robinson Jeffers.  They stayed in Carmel for the rest of their lives, building Tor House, writing poetry, raising a family and enriching the world. 

Please come and enjoy the centennial celebration of the arrival in Carmel of the Poet and the Muse, Robinson and Una Jeffers.  At the annual Tor House Spring Garden Party we will be highlighting and honoring the lives of the builders of Tor House and their enchanted life together.  As they had carved in the mantle in Una's room in Hawk Tower "Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt"  -- "We fashion dreams for ourselves."  Come and see for yourself. 

Each year on the first Sunday in May, the Tor House Garden Party brings together admirers of  the wild coast of Carmel, historic buildings and the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.  You can enjoy an afternoon (2 5 PM) of perusing the granite home and Irish-inspired tower that Jeffers built as he crafted his remarkable dramatic poems.  As you walk the Tor House spring gardens, perched on the edge of Carmel Bay, you'll be enchanted by musicians, plein air painters, and knowledgeable docents who reveal fascinating details of America's great poet, philosopher, and environmentalist, as well as the remarkable life he shared with his wife and muse Una.  Delightful petite treats and refreshments are available in the garden and tea is served in the Jeffers' dining room. 

The Garden Party is also a special day for photographers as it is the only time you can take pictures inside Tor House for your personal memories.  A climb to the top of Hawk Tower provides inspiring vistas of the restless Pacific Ocean and the fabled beauty of Pt Lobos.  Under the influence of this magical venue, perhaps a poem of your own will come to mind to capture the perfect moment forever.  You'll want to return soon for your own in-depth tour. 

Admission to the event is $15 per person.  Children must be over the age of ten.  Please, no pets of any age. 

 

 

 

 

 

An Introduction to Jeffers

Tor House docent Lucas Seastrom has produced an introductory film about Jeffers for poet Jimmy Santiago Baca to use at his speaking events.  Many people at Tor House helped with its production.  You can view it on YouTube at this link.

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Robinson Jeffers -

The Poet Is Dead Broadside

 
A eulogy by William Everson for Jeffers.  Etching of Tor House in snow by Tom Killian.  Printed on handmade paper by Peter and Donna Thomas, Santa Cruz. 11x15, limited edition of 50 prints, $80 each (includes tax) to benefit Tor House Foundation. 

After Jeffers passed in 1962, William Everson, along with many other followers of Jeffers' work, were asked to write elegies to the poet and his life's work.  Bill Everson, a devoted follower of Jeffers wrote "The Poet is Dead" as his tribute.  This commemorative broadside presents the first three stanzas of the poem.  The second stanza was added a few years later to emphasize the environment surrounding the night of Jeffers passing:

 

Snow on the headland,

Rare on the coast of California. 

Snow on Point Lobos,

Falling all night,

Filling the creeks and the back country,

The strangely beautiful

Setting of death.

 

These lines were used by the artist Tom Killian to depict Tor House (and in another etching, Pt Lobos) in snowfall.  This aspect of the poem underlines Jeffers' tight association with the environment of his home in Carmel, California. 

 

Peter Thomas was commissioned by Tor House Foundation to print the broadside.  Peter worked directly with Everson at Lime Kiln Press at UCSC on the monumental book Granite and Cypress, a fine art book tribute to Jeffers poetry.  Peter later printed a limited edition book of The Poet is Dead for Everson, from which this broadside is inspired. 

 

You may purchase the broadside directly from Tor House when you visit. Or contact Tor House Docent and Photography Archivist Alan Stacy at astacy@haiku-productions.com for more information or to purchase a print by mail. $80 plus shipping.  Prints 1 - 19 are sold.

Video

The Tor House Foundation just received a digitally remastered 1967 Robinson Jeffers Documentary video link from Alex Cherian, Film Archivist from the SF Bay Area TV Archive to view.  The publicly available film link Rhapsody & Requiem - The Life of Robinson Jeffers is now available to view online at diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/189961.  This is a digitally remastered KPIX-TV 1967 documentary film about Robinson Jeffers: Rhapsody & Requiem - The Life of Robinson Jeffers.  This online video is best viewed on the full screen mode of your computer.  It is a very fascinating video.

On-Line Bookstore

Our publications include several which are available only from the Tor House bookstore.  Other merchandise for sale includes Jeffers-related CDs, DVDs, note cards and works of art.

A Tor House Exclusive - Tor House is pleased to announce the re-issuing of The Stone Mason of Tor House by Melba Berry Bennett.

Melba Berry Bennett won the affection of both Jeffers and Una and after Una's death became Jeffers' secretary and worked with him until the end of his life.  The result is a biography rich in detail and true to its subject.  Jeffers did not reveal himself often to others, so his and Una's friendship with Bennett represented an unusual opportunity for Bennett to produce an authoritative, sensitive portrait of the poet.

This handsome edition, with slipcase, is available exclusively through the Tor House Bookstore, including at our online store.

Mission

The mission of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation is:

  • To preserve Tor House, Hawk Tower and their collections

  • To promote the literary and philosophical legacy of Robinson Jeffers for the enrichment and enlightenment of the public

  • To serve the community as a cultural resource

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, March 1998)

For more information on the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, our events and our organization, click on a link below.

 

 

Home | Events & Activities | Tours of Tor House | History

Publications & Bookstore | Other Merchandise | Membership |  Newsletters

Links to Jeffers Sites | Volunteer Opportunities | Officers & Board

Email: thf@torhouse.org

Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation * 26304 Ocean View Ave * Carmel, CA 93923 * 831-624-1813 * Fax 831-624-3696

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