HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Kenneth Patchen

December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972

Happy Birthday to Kenneth Patchen American Poet and Novelist. He was known early on as a Proletariat Poet, for his more political writings, but rejected the title. He then furthered his career while on the east coast, with a variety of subjects, styles and forms, alongside greats such as Langston Hughes and by helping to develop “Jazzy” poetry, where he and others recited works, while accompanied by such Jazz luminaries as Charles Mingus. He traveled to the southwest for a period, where he wrote scripts and worked for the WPA. Patchen was both befriended and heavily supported by such greats as E.E. Cummings and novelist Henry Miller, and paved the way for many beat writers like Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti while living out west.

I have included some audio/video links of his works below, along with some visual work from his “picture poems” series.


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