Stock Image

Poet Be Like God. Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance.

Beat Poet] Ellingham, Lewis and Kevin Killian.

102 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0819553085 / ISBN 13: 9780819553089
Published by Wesleyan University Press, Hanover, 1998
From Gregor Rare Books (Langley, WA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since 26 April 1997

Quantity Available: 1
Buy Used
Price: 51.64 Convert Currency
Shipping: 23.91 From U.S.A. to United Kingdom Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

About this Item

A Fine tight copy in a Fine bright dust jacket. The poet Jack Spicer was the Beat Generation's ultimate social and literary outcast. Unlike his contemporaries Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder, Spicer avoided any group persona and disliked publishing and died in 1965 virtually unknown. But his work and influence were unmistakeable to those writers in the Bay area in the fifties. Spicer's artistic life unfolds as a history of the famed San Francisco Renaissance. Bookseller Inventory # 24236

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Poet Be Like God. Jack Spicer and the San ...

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press, Hanover

Publication Date: 1998

Edition: First Printing of the First Edition

About this title


Jack Spicer, unlike his contemporaries Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder, was a poet who disdained publishing and relished his role as a social outcast. He died in 1965 virtually unrecognized, yet in the following years his work and thought have attracted and intrigued an international audience. Now this comprehensive biography gives a pivotal poet his due. Based on interviews with scores of Spicer's contemporaries, Poet Be Like God details the most intimate aspects of Spicer's life—his family, his friends, his lovers—illuminating not only the man but also many of his poems.

Such illumination extends also to the works of others whom Spicer came to know, including the writers Frank O'Hara, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Helen Adam, Robin Blaser, Charles Olson, Philip K. Dick, Richard Brautigan, and Marianne Moore and the painters Jess, Fran Herndon, and Jay DeFeo. The resulting narrative, an engaging chronicle of the San Francisco Renaissance and the emergence of the North Beach gay scene during the 50s and 60s, will be indispensable reading for students of American literature and gay studies.


From the time it first emerged as a renegade liberating voice in the early 1950s, beat writing changed the American social literary scene. Poets like Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti altered the sound of U.S. poetry while Jack Kerouac's bebop chant--particularly in his classic On the Road--literally changed how Americans spoke. The beats' fame became so great so quickly that their critics accused them of hypocrisy. Not so Jack Spicer; while Ginsberg and Kerouac were busy publishing and promoting their work, Spicer--whose original lyric voice and gay content still resonate today--spent most of his time disdaining the publishing world and making enemies. In Poet Be Like God, journalist Lewis Ellingham and experimental novelist Kevin Killian have produced not only a fully realized portrait of Spicer, but a complexly woven historical and literary tapestry. Spicer emerges here as a brilliant, difficult, and largely unlikable man whose talent for writing matched his inability to function in the world. Ellingham and Killian are equally concerned with explicating the San Francisco renaissance and charting the emergence of North Beach as a gay neighborhood; Poet Be Like God thus rediscovers Jack Spicer for a new generation of readers and presents us with a unique and startling look at gay and literary history. --Michael Bronski

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We operate an open shop at 197A Second Street in the beautiful waterfront Book Town of Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island just north of Seattle. We are open daily at 10:00 am; closing times are variable. Sunday's are by chance.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

If you don't see something in our inventory, feel free to let us know what your specific wants are. We have success in locating hard to find books.
TERMS: All items are subject to prior sale. All items are first printings
unless otherwise stated. Autographs are guaranteed to be authentic and items
are returnable for any reason within 7 days of receipt. Washington
state residence will be charged 8.7% state sales t...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer