Lyn Hejinian was born Lyn Hall in San Francisco to a high school teacher and unpublished writer, Chaffee Earl Hall, Jr., and Carolyn Frances Erskine. Hejinian attended Harvard University and earned a B.A. in 1963. She married John P. Hejinian in 1961; they divorced in 1972 after having two children, Paul and Anna. In July, 1977, Lyn married Larry Ochs, a composer and musician in San Francisco, where the couple settled.
Hejinian taught at the New College of California in San Francisco (1986-1987, 1990-1998), at the Naropa Institute’s summer writing program (1992, 1995, 1998), and at the University of California, Berkeley (1993-1995). She has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop (1998) and St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California (1999). She later became a professor in the department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Hejinian has served on the boards of directors for Serendipity Books Distribution (1984-1989), LINES, Detroit Institute of Arts(1985-1990), and Small Press Distribution (1987-1989).
In 1983, on tour with her husband and his band, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Hejinian traveled to Leningrad and Moscow where she met samizdat Russian poets (underground and censored resistance writers), including Dragomoshchenko, with whom she maintained a close friendship and from whom she learned the Russian language. She became a translator of his and other Russian poets’ works. She...
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