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Kenneth Patchen

(13 December 1911 - 8 January 1972 / Ohio)

Kenneth Patchen
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an American poet and novelist. Though he denied any direct connection, Patchen's work and ideas regarding the role of artists paralleled those of the Dadaists, the Beats, and Surrealists. Patchen's ambitious body of work also foreshadowed literary art-forms ranging from reading poetry to jazz accompaniment to his late experiments with visual poetry (which he called his "picture poems").

In 1911, Kenneth Patchen was born in Niles, Ohio. His lifelong romance with writing commenced at age twelve, when he took up keeping a diary and reading the works of famous writers. His first published work was in his high school newspaper. After working for two years with his father, Patchen when ... more »

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  • Rookie George Neidorf (12/29/2013 4:43:00 PM)

    I think that kenneth patchen's poems can be purchased from city lights bookstore in san Francisco.

  • Rookie Karin Holloway (12/15/2013 8:07:00 AM)

    Aarrrgghhh! I had hoped to find Patchen's poem which had sledding in it- -no, not the light it's fun in the snow kind of poem but about human darkness. Tragedy, I think. Heck, I was only 13 or so when I found my then dead uncle's book of Patchen poems. And, Chad, I'm soooo sorry but I gave it away last year, nearly 50 years later. Lovely little book it was, too. I was having a life clear-out and wasn't thinking straight. I wasn't aware of Patchen's importance to my life and times- -the resistance to the Vietnam War and to stupid cultural values and mores. I thank him from this side of the big divide and wish him well, wherever he's translating reality now. Back to reading his poems. Oh, hello everyone!

  • Rookie Christine Schuster (1/14/2013 1:07:00 PM)

    Hello everybody,
    I came across Kenneth Patchen only recently, through a poem of his read by Johnny Dowd on an album by Jackie Leven: The Skaters (the album title is 'Oh what a Blow that Phantom Dealt me') . I was intrigued and deeply moved by the poem itself and by the way it was performed and set to music. Unfortunately I don't understand all of it (I'm German) , so I'd be very happy if someone could post it here. It's in the book 'Still Another Pelican in the Breadbasket', which doesn't seem to be available here.

    Thanks a lot.
    Christine

  • Rookie Chad Palomino (10/11/2012 4:14:00 PM)

    Hello Ola,
    I was very touched by your comment.
    I have the same feeling about Kenneth Patchen, even if I dont know all his work.
    I'm from Belgium and had only the opportunity to read what I can still find on the web.
    Maybe you could help me.

    I'm looking for all the poems of kenneth Patchen.

    I love his writing. As you. Deeply. I hate so many poems...
    and I seem to like nearly everything Patchen's done.

    I had two wonderful poems of him that I lost.

    One is about a lynching in the South of USA. I think it's called 'Good day for a Lynching'.

    The other is about loosers, loneliness and whores
    I've lost the nameof it..

    But anyway...
    anything from/on from Kenneth Patchen interests me, please let me know.

    I'm ready to buy old book of him. As well as Tenesse Williams old stuff.

    If you can help.
    Just mail me at: chadpalomino@gmail.com or reach me through here.

    MANY thanks
    For all

  • Rookie Chad Palomino (10/11/2012 4:06:00 PM)

    Hommage to Kenneth Patchen.

    I allowed myself to copy and paste a comment I've just read.

    Read it again. Or maybe you've missed it.

    It's the first comment on Patchen. And it's real.
    You can go down the page and see the original:
    Ola Lars Andresen (9/24/2005 8: 00: 00 PM)



    I'm amazed to find myself the first to offer a comment about Kenneth Patchen. I've read him over and again since 1967, so it's time then. To make it short. Without him, there wouldn't have been a beat generation or any beat poetry or fiction - the way it all came along. Patchen inspired them all. I first came across his name in a small collection of literary essays by Henry Miller, but I first got a chance to read him when offered some books by a fugative representative of the Black Panters a year before the European student revolts in 1968.

    I'm till this day intrigued by a novel called The Journal of Albion Moonlight, first published in 1950, I belive. Unfortunatelyg I think its message is more valid now than ever. The way I read it, it's about a fascist US.

    And his poems? Just start reading, laughing and crying.

    If somebody wonders about my age and gender, I'm close to 60 and male.

  • Rookie Chad Palomino (10/11/2012 4:02:00 PM)

    HELP HELP HELP HELP, please: -)


    Hello, I'm looking for all poems of kenneth Patchen.

    I love his writing. Deeply.

    I had two wonderful poems of him that I lost.

    One is about a lynching in the South of USA. I think it's called 'Good day for a Lynching'.

    The other is about loosers, loneliness and whores
    I've lost the nameof it..

    But anyway...
    if someone know of other poems than these from Kenneth Patchen, please let me know.

    I'm ready to buy old book of him. As well as Tenesse Williams old stuff.

    Just mail me at: chadpalomino@gmail.com or through here.

    MANY thanks

  • Rookie Sarah Grace Pierce (7/26/2012 7:51:00 AM)

    Like Lars, I read the journal of Albion Moonlight during the war years of Vietnam Nam...but this poem I have remembered, Creation and many other of his love poems, there is no person who does not want to be loved as Mirium was loved.Anybody remember The Origin of Baseball?

  • Rookie Larry Smith (6/24/2009 6:28:00 PM)

    Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972) is America's Rebel Poet, as my biography on him declares. He was a maverick who had a great respect for form and for humanity, which he shares so generously in his work. He and wife Miriam are one of the great love stories in American literature...lovers and rebels seeking a new order for humankind, they sought to witness the tragedy of America and yet keep a vision of wholeness and wonder. Any young poet who misses Patchen, misses a model he will have to discover on his/her own.

  • Rookie Ola Lars Andresen (9/24/2005 8:03:00 PM)

    I'm amazed to find myself the first to offer a comment about Kenneth Patchen. I've read him over and again since 1967, so it's time then. To make it short. Without him, there wouldn't have been a beat generation or any beat poetry or fiction - the way it all came along. Patchen inspired them all. I first came across his name in a small collection of literary essays by Henry Miller, but I first got a chance to read him when offered some books by a fugative representative of the Black Panters a year before the European student revolts in 1968.

    I'm till this day intrigued by a novel called The Journal of Albion Moonlight, first published in 1950, I belive. Unfortunately I think its message is more valid now than ever. The way I read it, it's about a fascist US.

    And his poems? Just start reading, laughing and crying.

    If somebody wonders about my age and gender, I'm close to 60 and male.

  • Rookie Ola Lars Andresen (9/24/2005 8:00:00 PM)

    I'm amazed to find myself the first to offer a comment about Kenneth Patchen. I've read him over and again since 1967, so it's time then. To make it short. Without him, there wouldn't have been a beat generation or any beat poetry or fiction - the way it all came along. Patchen inspired them all. I first came across his name in a small collection of literary essays by Henry Miller, but I first got a chance to read him when offered some books by a fugative representative of the Black Panters a year before the European student revolts in 1968.

    I'm till this day intrigued by a novel called The Journal of Albion Moonlight, first published in 1950, I belive. Unfortunatelyg I think its message is more valid now than ever. The way I read it, it's about a fascist US.

    And his poems? Just start reading, laughing and crying.

    If somebody wonders about my age and gender, I'm close to 60 and male.

Read all 10 comments »

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