Lawrence Joel “Larry” Eigner was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts, where he lived with his parents until moving to Berkeley, California, in 1978. Born with cerebral palsy, Eigner made use of a wheelchair throughout his life. He published more than 40 collections of poetry, among them From the Sustaining Air (1953), Another Time in Fragments (1967), Things Stirring / Together / or Far Away (1974), now there’s-a-morning-hulk of the sky (1981), Waters / Places / A Time (1983), and readiness / enough / depends / on (2000), as well as a volume of prose, Harbour / Quiet / Act / Around: Selected Prose (1978). The Collected Poems of Larry Eigner (2010) appears in four volumes.
Associated with the Black Mountain Poets, Eigner’s first book was published by poet Robert Creeley. Eigner’s poems often contain everyday images clearly observed and presented in stripped-down lines, somewhat reminiscent of the poetry of William Carlos Williams. Poet Charles Bernstein has written, “In Eigner’s poems, one ‘fragment’ is rivetted [sic] to the next, so that one becomes, in reading this work, likewise riveted by the uncanny democracy of details.” Eigner’s work appeared in the journals L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E and The Black Mountain Review, and in the anthology The New American Poetry, 1945–1960 (1999).