Nick Lyons '60 (BardCorps)


Nick Lyons '60 (BardCorps)


Nick Lyons '60


Download Nick, You're Not Dumb, but You're Absolutely Illiterate.mp3 (4.3 MB)

Download You Do Have the GI Bill Don't You? – I'm Sure We Have a Place For You.mp3 (4.1 MB)

Download Meeting Mari - I Met Her on the Line for Registration, I Think She Was Singing Russian Revolutionary Songs.mp3 (12.3 MB)

Download Nick on Teaching, Publishing, and Mari's Legacy.mp3 (12.8 MB)

Download Lyons Transcript.pdf (116 KB)

Download Mari Lyons Transformations in the Garden (2013) .mov (32.2 MB)

Interviewee Role


Significant Quote

"I still, at this late stage of 88 years old, I can still remember walking down to the creek, to the Saw Kill and Bill Humphrey talking about short stories; neither of us having books in our hands, he would practically have a whole story in his head. I’d never seen anything like that. He could recite the beginning of it and then show where it modulated into another key and then moved into a series of expansions and digressions and finally came through at the end. I was astounded by the way in which he thought about it. I think Bard was exciting to me also because someone like Humphrey had never graduated from college, and there he was, a brilliant teacher, just having his first major book Home from the Hill published which was a runner up for the National Book Award. But it was a year in which, to use an athlete’s expression, I was stretched, I was shown new ways of thinking, new ways of reading. And it wasn’t so much the knowledge that I got as the spirit of the place, the spirit of learning."


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Class Year


Academic Program



Anna Hallett Gutierrez '21, Helene Tieger '85


Nick Lyons reflects on his life, sharing stories about his introduction to literature and the awakening of his intellectual life; finding his way to Bard; meeting his wife, Mari Blumenau Lyons, and sharing a life together. In thinking about his own years as a teacher, Nick recalls the impact of Heinrich Blücher’s teaching style:

“He [Heinrich Blücher] was capable in the rest of his life, of prompting in others, almost as a Plato, as a man who, not the source of knowledge so much as the prompter of knowledge in others. A very rare kind of quality, most teachers, even really good ones are often huge egos that want to share that ego with other people, but are not that interested in drawing forth from a student something, something they see in– … them something and find ways to draw it forth, to protect it, and to help it flourish.”


United States Army; Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; France; The New School; New York City; Greenwich Village, New York; Keith Botsford; Bard College; Pepsi-Cola; Thomas Nash; John Lyly; Sir Thomas Browne; New York; Ford; Richard “Buzz” Gummere; William Butler Yeats; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Franz Kafka; The Metamorphosis; Jane Austen; Fyodor Dostoevsky; President James Case; GI Bill; Catskills; Bardian; Adolph’s; Peter Hammer; Robert Lowell; Ted Weiss; Gil Humphrey; Saw Kill ; Bill Humphrey; Home from the Hill; National Book Award; Heinrich Blücher; Clair Leonard; Mari (Blumenau) Lyons ‘57; California; The University of Michigan; John Milton; Thomas Hardy; Jim Martin; Parachute Corps; New Jersey; Blithewood; [Christian Andrew] Zabriskie; Georg Trakl; Robert “Bobby” Bard; Richard “Dick” Bard; Kevin Begos; Stephen Shore; Berkeley, California; Anna Head School; Head-Royce School; Latvia; San Francisco, California; Riverside Drive, Manhattan, New York; Charlie Blumenau; Bennington College; Sarah Lawrence College; Max Beckmann; Mills College; Mathilde “Quappi” Beckmann; Fletcher Martin; Woodstock, New York; Louis Schanker; Harvey Fite; Opus 40; Stefan Hirsch; Malcolm Bilson; Lorelle (Marcus) Philips ‘57; Larchmont, New York; Field Period; Hungarian; English; Laszlo Bito ‘60; Shakespeare; Alaska; Jim Martin; Menlo Park, California; Peni Cenedella ‘57; Janet Bodenson(??); Karen Geiger ‘56; Carolee Schneemann ‘59; Oakland, California; Jed Perl; Kingston, New York; Hannah Arendt; Bard Hall; Chapel of Holy Innocents; Willem de Kooning; Reamer Kline; Robert Motherwell; Nazi Germany; Plato; Paul Lyons; Donald Trump; Herman Melville; University of Michigan; Cranbrook Academy of Art; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Hunter College; Austin Warren; Ann Arbor, Michigan; W. W. Norton & Company; Don Lamb; Crown Publishing Group; 68th Street, New York, New York; Park Avenue, New York, New York; 86th Street, New York, New York; Timothy Benn; Ernest Benn Limited; Doubleday; Schocken Books; Underwood Typewriter; Jon Krakauer; Into the Wild; David Quammen; Verlyn Klinkenborg; Tom McGuane; Some Horses; John Graves; Texas; Nobel Prize; Tony Lyons; Viacom; Hemmingway; Robert Traver; Anatomy of a Murder; New York State Museum; Montana; Union Club; Wellesley; King Lear; Elsa Lyons; Laura Lyons; Cleveland, Ohio; Helene Tieger



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Nick Lyons '60 (BardCorps)