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

Beat Poet] Ellingham, Lewis and Kevin Killian.

Published by Wesleyan University Press, Hanover, 1998
ISBN 10: 0819553085 / ISBN 13: 9780819553089
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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


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

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Synopsis: 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.

Review: "Any book this long and this thorough that is also this readable is a wonder to be praised. Poet, Be Like God makes the art and passion of Jack Spicer luminously legible. This is a grand biography; it is also a deeply searching delineation of an epoch, deploying living and vivid narratives of the San Francisco Renaissance. Here is the life every aspiring poet must know if she or he would risk self and soul in the mills of American art."-- Samuel R. Delany

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