Series III

Joanne Kyger: Letters To & From

ed. Ammiel Alcalay & Joanne Kyger


Project Description

"All these letters reveal a 'cast of characters' that 'appear and disappear,' exchanging news of their lives and loves from their Black Mountain days of 1955 onward, through San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Buffalo…" - Joanne Kyger (read more on the Poetry Foundation blog!)

View Joanne Kyger's "Write Something About Poetics" broadside.


Editor Biography

Ammiel Alcalay is a poet, translator, critic, scholar and activist, he teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of numerous books, including Scrapmetal and After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture. Some of his translations include Sarajevo Blues and Nine Alexandrias. Islanders, a novel, came out in 2010. His new selection of poetry, Neither Wit Nor Gold, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2011. A 10th anniversary reprint of from the warring factions and a new book of essays, a little history, are due out from re:public / UpSet in Fall, 2012. He is the founding editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, a series of student and guest edited archival texts emerging from the New American Poetry.


Author Biography

Associated with the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, poet Joanne Kyger studied philosophy and literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, moving to San Francisco in 1957 just before she finished her degree. In San Francisco she attended the Sunday meetings of poets Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan, and moved into the East West House, a communal house for students of Zen Buddhism and Asian studies. She lived in Japan with Gary Snyder, her husband at the time, and traveled in India with Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, and Peter Orlovsky. She eventually returned to California, where she still lives and works.

Kyger has published more than 20 collections of poetry, including The Tapestry and the Web (1965), All This Every Day (1975), The Wonderful Focus of You (1979), Going On: Selected Poems 1958-1980 (1983), Just Space, poems 1979-1989 (1991), Again: Poems 1989-2000 (2001), As Ever: Selected Poems (2002), and About Now: Collected Poems (2007). She is also the author of the prose collection Strange Big Moon: Japan and India Journals 1960-1964 (1981).

photo: John Wieners & Joanne Kyger: Photo by Jerome Mallmann, 1967