Robin Metz / Professor Emeritus of English
Philip Sidney Post Professor Emeritus


Robin Metz explored the interactions of environment, physicality, and “selfhood”—and encouraged his students to do the same—through his interdisciplinary studies in poetry. He was an M.F.A. graduate of the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a longstanding faculty member of Knox College, from 1967 until 2018, where he directed the creative writing program. Metz's early investigations in the field began with studies in 20th century English, American, and world literatures. Those evolved into an organic approach to literature that posited identity and voice in a practically ecological relationship with the natural world.

Metz received the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Prize for his book Unbidden Angel, and 16 additional international literary awards. His play Anung’s First American Christmas (based on Ojibway legend) premiered at Theatre Building Chicago, 2008. His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction appeared in numerous national/ international journals, including Paris ReviewEpochInternational Poetry ReviewRosebudFourth RiverOberonWriters’ ForumAbiko Quarterly (Japan), New Welsh Review (Wales), The Wolf (UK), Van Gogh’s Ear (France), NewFront (Nepal), Seventh Quarry (Wales), Convorbiri Literare (Romania), and in various anthologies. He presented his work in 80 US cities and 24 nations (most recently Kosovo, Cuba, India, Wales, Nepal). His 3D Art Installations for previous Vitalist Theater productions include: “Harrowing Love” (Anna Karenina), “Securing the Peace” (Mother Courage and Her Children), “Ganga Passes” (A Passage to India), “Weeds, Seeds, Skulls, and Trees” (Anung’s First American Christmas). The recipient of awards/fellowships from PEN International, NEA, Illinois Arts Council, Best American Stories, he was editing the forthcoming anthology Chicagoland Poets, at work on the Romanian bi-lingual translation of his play, Anung..., and completing New and Selected Poems at the time of his death in November 2018.

Robin was longtime Director for the Program in Creative Writing (from 1985 until 2018) and Philip Sidney Post Professor of English.


Generations of Knox students will continue to benefit from Robin’s work at Knox, thanks to his visionary legacy, and the now established Robin Metz Endowed Fund for the Creative Arts.

We welcome your
donations in his memory, and would love to hear your stories about him. We miss him every day.