Collected Poems of Kenneth Patchen


Product Details

New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.23 X 7.88 X 1.34 inches | 1.18 pounds
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About the Author

Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972) was one of the most prolific American poets of his time. He was born in Niles, Ohio. He attended school at the University of Madison-Wisconsin where he met his wife, Miriam Oikemus. They moved to Greenwich Village and befriended many writers including E.E. Cummings, Anais Nin, and Henry Miller. An accident occurred after his first publication that would eventually leave him an invalid. He and his wife later moved to San Francisco during the early years of the Beat Movement. Many Beat poets would cite Patchen as a major influence. His "experimental protests" in poetry, painting, and prose remain unprecedented. Aside from his many books of poetry, his acclaimed novels, and his concrete visual works, Kenneth Patchen also collaborated with John Cage for the radio-play The City Wears a Slouch Hat, and worked with Charles Mingus developing jazz poetry. Patchen was an unwavering pacifist and many of his works have a political bent. Patchen was the first recipient of an NEA Literary Grant in 1967.


To experience Patchen's work is to discover a peculiar sort of divinity.--Devendra Banhart
Patchen is a writer of superb daring and invention, the author of a few passages which are comparable to the most intuitively beautiful writing ever done.--James Dickey
Kenneth Patchen is one of the very few people over thirty who can and should be believed. The contemporary forces of assault should know that his voice was raised, and his sword was bright at the walls of darkness when almost all other American poets were still and tamed.--Kenneth Rexroth
In these fierce and hurrying years, Patchen's apocalyptic prophecies have come and are coming all too true. Listen if there is still time, to the words of this man! 'Peace or Perish: Mercy Truth Freedom Peace Peace Peace Peace Love Kindness Trust or All Men Are Doomed.'--Lawrence Ferlinghetti
There is more verve and more variety in Patchen's work than in any other living American poet's entire output. No more ringing protests and no more passionate love poems have been written in our time. This book should win the acclaim that he so well merits and it should establish him not only as a remarkable poet but also a great one.--Louis Untermeyer
Patchen is the only major poet--and prose writer if it comes to that--who is still to be plumbed, explored, or really understood. Rich the prospect for him, and for us!--Peter Yates