If you could stuff the hand of Robert Frost into the catcher’s mitt of Joe Garagiola, you might grasp a rough sense of Robin Metz. The football, baseball, and wrestling stored in his muscle memory arrived at Princeton along with academic prowess and a heart and mind rolling with visionary stories and poems. He could lead a blitz, pin a brawler, and guard home like a wall of Pittsburgh steel. Tiger Inn wanted him because he was a world-class athlete; Ivy wanted him because he was such a gifted writer.
He took the road less traveled, studying with novelist Philip Roth, his first writing mentor, then Kurt Vonnegut at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. A legendary teacher, Robin mentored emerging writers into prominence at Knox College in Illinois for 51 years. His book of searing poetry, Unbidden Angel, won the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Prize, one of many international accolades for his many publications. An award-winning tree farmer, he celebrated art, music, theater, and nature. He was fiercely independent, but never a loner — he made friends for life.
He is survived by his wife, Liz; daughters Lisa and Ronnah; and four grandsons. The class extends its condolences to them all.