Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan was born in Oakland, California. His mother died at his birth and his father was unable to raise him. In 1920 Joseph and Minnehaha Symmes adopted him. Only after his discharge from the army did he take the name Robert Duncan, a composite from his birth name (Edward Howard Duncan) and his adopted name (Robert Edward Symmes). He attended the University of California, Berkeley but never finished. Duncan explored the topic of his own homosexuality and homosexuality in society in his writing. He died in 1988 of a heart attack.

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion