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ROBINSON JEFFERS
TOR HOUSE FOUNDATION

 

 

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New!  Purchase Tour Tickets Online.

 

Visit our Tours page for detailed information about tours, which are offered on Fridays & Saturdays.  Reservations are required.



Click here to go directly to online booking or call 844-285-0244 to secure a spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Garden Party, Sunday May 1, 2 - 5 p.m.

 

Click here to buy tickets in advance online

 

Robin and Una moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1914, a year after they were married.  The little “city” by the sea was still in its infancy with unpaved streets and little log cabins.  It would officially become a California city 100 years ago this year, in 1916, the same year the Jeffers’ twins were born.  Tor House was still a dream in Una’s and Robins’ minds, a little stone cottage, perched on their favorite picnic area, at the Tors of Carmel Point.  Jeffers described the place in his poem “The Last Conservative.”  

 

     Against the outcrop boulders of a raised beach

     We built our house when I and my love were young.

     Here long ago the surf thundered, now fifty feet lower;

     And there's a kind of shell-mound, I used to see ghosts of Indians

     Squatting beside the stones in their firelight,

     The rock-cheeks have red fire-stains.

     But the place was maiden, no previous

     Building, no neighbors, nothing but the elements,

     Rock, wind and sea; in moon-struck nights the mountain coyotes

     Howled in our dooryard; or doe and fawn

     Stared in the lamp-lit window. We raised two boys here; all that we saw or heard was beautiful

     And hardly human.

          From “The Last Conservative” [Hunt III, p 418]  

 

Come celebrate a unique time in the history of both Carmel-by-the-Sea and Tor House at our annual Garden Party, May 1st 2016 during the Carmel-by-the-Sea Centennial Celebration.  While Tor House has not changed much, Carmel certainly has, and it is worth remembering the beauty of old Carmel that made it an artists’ colony and an inspiration to California’s greatest poet.  

 

During the Garden Party at Tor House the gardens, in full spring bloom, will be filled with music, art, and poetry. Guests will have the unique opportunity to explore Tor House and Hawk Tower at their own pace. Photography in Tor House and Hawk Tower is permitted only on this special day.

 

Tea and punch, along with homemade sweets and savories, will be served in the garden and in the Jeffers’ dining room.

 

Admission to the event is $15 per person.  Click here to buy tickets in advance online.  Children must be over the age of ten.  Please, no pets of any age.

   

 

2016 Tor House Poetry and Reading Series

Check out the 2016 Poetry and Reading Series on our Events page.

 

News ...

Donate to Tor House when you're shopping at Amazon.  Tor House is now on AmazonSmile!  Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.  Here is the link to contribute to the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation:  https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2495236.

Tor House is a finalist in the Monterey County Weekly’s  2016 Best of Monterey County readers' poll!  Please support Tor House with your vote.  The voting continues through February 24th at www.MontereyCountyWeekly.com/BestOf.  Tor House is located on the first page of the ballot under "Best Architectural Treasure."

The Tor House Foundation is proud to announce that the Book Club of California has named Trustee James Karman as the 2016 recipient of the Oscar Lewis Award for Western History.  See details at www.bccbooks.org/programs/awards.

And ... here is  link to a new article about Jeffers by Jesse Rossa for The New Antiquarian:  www.abaa.org/blog/post/robinson-jeffers-more-than-just-a-california-poet.

 

New Honorary Trustee Dana Gioia

 

The Tor House Foundation is pleased to welcome Dana Gioia, the Poet Laureate of California, as an Honorary Member of our Board of Trustees.  For more information on his life and work, click here www.danagioia.com.

 

Wall Street Journal Review

 

Click here to read the Wall Street Journal's review of  Robinson Jeffers by James Karman.

 

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 Killion (www.TomKillion.com).  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 Killion 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 | Prize for Poetry

Email: thf@torhouse.org

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

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