Robert M. Chute
Excuse for Being Here by Maine writer Robert M. Chute

Robert M. Chute

Robert M. Chute is a native of Naples, Maine, and was educated, according to Chute, with varying degrees of success at Fryeburg Academy, the University of Maine, and Johns Hopkins University. He served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II in the Aviation Physiology Unit of a Proving Ground Command.

He joined the Bates College teaching staff as chairman of the Biology Department in 1962. Wearing his scientific hat, he wrote Introduction to Biology and Environmental Insight, both published by Harper and Row. Always aware of being a steward of our earth, lakes, and trees, Chute was instrumental in the formation of COLA, The Congress of Lake Associations, dedicated to the study and protection of Maine lakes. He also served as chair of a state commission concerned with genetic modification of agricultural products.

During the 1960s, he produced and edited a mimeo poetry magazine, The Small Pond. Research in and professing of biology supported his poetry habit until retirement from Bates College in 1993. He received the Rhine Humanities Council chapbook award for Samuel Sewall Sails for Home and the Beloit Poetry Journal’s Chad Walsh Award for the poem, “Heat Wave in Concord.” Chute was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Chute's published works include the novels Coming Home: A Maine Mystery (2009), Return to Sender: Sequel to Coming Home (2011), and Roadside Rest: Another Maine Mystery from Wyman Falls (2012), and the poetry collections Quiet Thunder: Poems from a Bates College Reading (1973), The Uncle George Poems (1977), Voices Great and Small (1977), Thirteen Moons (1982), When Grandmother Decides to Die (1989), Uncle George: Poems from a Maine Boyhood (1990), Woodshed on the Moon: Thoreau Poems (1991), Androscoggin Too: The Pejepscot Poems (1996), Barely Time to Study Jesus: The Nat 'Turner' Revolt (1996), Constellations: Collected Story Poems (2009), and Excuse for Being Here (2013).

Chute ran as an independent protest candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives during the Vietnam War and is an active supporter of the Veterans for Peace. He currently lives on Middle Range Pond in Poland, Maine.