June 27, 1949 – February 23, 2022
If you’re part of the San Francisco literary scene, you know Robert Anbian, stellar poet and novelist. Robert passed away in his sleep from a heart attack on February 23, 2022. It was a tough year for Robert. He lost his sweet Nona last year and he missed her a lot.
Robert’s house was full of signs of his working life – books galore, papers, prospectuses and the business aspects of his small publishing house, Night Horn Books. The small table in the living room, a step up from the bed where he was found, attests that he ended his evening with a whiff and a book.
Robert read his magnificent poetry to audiences all over town, sometimes with background music. His poetry is about love, peace, distant places and the ravages of war. Talking with the man, if he was not fuming, he dazzled you with his knowledge of literature, science and history.
Robert has recently published WE Parts 1-3 and Poems for Time Traveler as well as the works of other poets and authors. Those of you familiar with his portfolio understand the man as an artist. He was devoted to literature, to his publishing house, Night Horn Books, he was an advocate for unknown writers and a champion for getting these writers printed. Robert mentored many poets and writers, with an eye for the perfect phrase, and esoteric imagery that danced from the page in sync with his poetic flair.
Robert was born on June 27, 1949 in Fort Dix, NJ. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert William White and Rosette, just as he loved Nona last year. He is survived by his sisters Charline White of Mt, Holly, NJ and Patricia McLaughlin of Kingston, Pennsylvania, his niece Colleen Sgaggero and his nephews Matthew and Scott McLaughlin. He also survived and will be missed by fans and readers throughout the Bay Area.
Robert graduated from the University of Virginia, after which he spent two years in Niger with the Peace Corps. After leaving the Peace Corps, he came to San Francisco to join his lifelong friends and live his dream.
From 1985 to 1996, during a period of substantial organizational growth, Robert served as editor of the Film Arts Foundation’s monthly magazine, Release Print, and publicist for this independent filmmaker education and advocacy group.
One of Bob, Bobby, Robert’s favorite closures was, “Even lost, you’re on your way.” It speaks so well of the man.
A celebration of his life is planned.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle on March 16, 2022.