Bill Hotchkiss 1936-2010

I always thought that poet and author Bill Hotchkiss deserved way more recognition than he got. In fact, even though I’d been in touch with him just months before his death, I had no idea that he had died until recently — though I was beginning to suspect something was wrong.

We did not know each other well at all. We’d had a few emails years ago, and then more in December 2009, when he sent me an autobiography and some manuscripts for possible publication at Moon Willow Press. Continue reading

Seymour Krim

Thanks to Mark Cohen of Missing a Beat for the bio.

Seymour Krim.

b. May 11, 1922, New York

d. Aug. 30, 1989, New York

You thought you heard of them all. But Seymour Krim is the Missing Beat.

Oh, he was a Beat, alright. He lived in Greenwich Village, wrote for the Village Voice, had no dough, no wife, no regular work, drank at the White Horse Tavern and proclaimed his debt to Jack Kerouac’s On The Road for the green light that signaled not WALK but TALK — and he did. Continue reading

Edith Snow

I was born Edith Holsclaw, in southern Indiana in 1909.  Politics should have been my field: my parents were conservative Republicans in the Bible Belt, and my grandfather had built the log cabin in which I was born–an eagerly welcomed first girl with two older brothers.  A colicky December baby, small and frail (puny, I think they said then)–I cried for the first several months; my mother fed me catnip tea, and my father walked the floor with me, singing hymns in his church-choir bass.  This pleasurable relationship ended for me with the birth of my sister, sixteen months later; she was from infancy prettier, better-behaved, and healthier than I, and soon became bigger, as well.

*This bio for poet Edith Snow was sent in by Bill Hotchkiss

David Meltzer

David Meltzer was raised in Brooklyn during the war years. He performed on radio and early TV on the Horn & Hardart Children’s Hour. He was exiled to L.A. at 16, and at 17 enrolled in an ongoing academy with artists Wallace Berman, George Herms, Robert Alexander, and Cameron. David migrated to San Francisco in 1957 for higher education with peers & maestros like Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Joanne Kyger, Diane DiPrima, Michael McClure, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen, Jack Hirschman, and a cast of thousands all living extraordinary ordinary lives. Continue reading

Joanne Kyger

A native Californian, Joanne Kyger became part of the San Francisco poetry world in 1957 when she left Santa Barbara where she had attended both high school and the University of California. She arrived at the height of the Howl obscenity trial, where a friend introduced her to The Place, the bar that served as headquarters for Jack Spicer and other poets of the San Francisco Renaissance. Continue reading

Michael Rothenberg

Born in Miami Beach, Florida in 1951, Michael Rothenberg has been an active environmentalist in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 25 years, where he cultivates orchids and bromeliads at his nursery, Shelldance. He is a poet, songwriter, editor and co-founder of Big Bridge Press and Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry and everything else. He is also co-editor and co-founder of JACK Magazine, a literary publication that relates to, but expands beyond, the beat generation. Continue reading

Herbert Huncke

Huck, whom you’ll see on Times Square, somnolent and alert, sad, sweet, dark, holy. Just out of jail. Martyred. Tortured by sidewalks, starved for sex and companionship, open to anything, ready to introduce a new world with a shrug. –Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels) Continue reading

Ruth Weiss

Ruth’s family escaped Austria under the Nazi regime and landed in New York in 1939, and later in Chicago. Upon her family’s return to Europe, Ruth underwent her own road experiences, and then returned to Chicago in 1948. Continue reading