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(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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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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: or reach me through here.

    MANY thanks
    For all

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