Robert Pack was born in New York City in 1929. His father was a lawyer who served in the New York state legislature. In the fifth grade he entered the Fieldston School of Ethical Culture, where much of his worldview was formed and where he made friends he would retain for over seventy years.
Bob majored in English literature and philosophy at Dartmouth College, graduating in 1951. While doing graduate work at Columbia University he taught courses in poetry at The New School for Social Research. After receiving his M.A. in 1953, he was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to travel to Italy and translate the work of poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. Following his return to the U.S. he was hired by Barnard College, where he taught literature for six years. Some of his Barnard students went on to distinguished literary careers.
In 1962 he joined the faculty of Middlebury College, where he designed and chaired the creative writing program and taught a wide variety of classes including poetry writing, English and American literature, and the Hebrew Bible. During his career he received multiple awards for teaching excellence. For twenty-two summers he served as Director of the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, whose approaches and practices he helped shape. During these summers he also taught in Middlebury’s English literature graduate program.
After Bob’s retirement from Middlebury in 1998, he and wife Patty moved to Montana where he taught in the Honors College of The University of Montana.
Pack published twenty-one collections of poetry as well as book-length critical studies of Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens. He died peacefully in June, 2023 with his devoted wife Patty at this side.