Michael McClure Collection
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Biographical / Historical Note

For information on McClure's published works, see `A catalog of works by Michael McClure, 1956-1965', compiled by Marshall Clements (Phoenix Book Shop, 1965). McClure wrote of himself in 1967: "I was born in the wheat and oil state of Kansas on October 20th, the same day as Rimbaud, in 1932. I grew up in Seattle on black beaches of the Pacific Ocean and returned to Wichita Kansas and blossomed in a Kansas college in an aura of jazz, William Blake, Swedenborg, and the Visionary Surrealists. I made trips to New York and spent a year in Arizona. I am an atheist who believes in Jesus and the Greek poet of joy, Anacreon. I am fascinated by Billy the Kid and Jean Harlow. In the nine years I've lived in San Francisco I've made a trip to the Orient (as marchant seaman), flights to New York, reading tours through the U.S., and two trips to Mexico (once to the mountains of Oaxaco to take films of the sacred mushroom). My poems and prose have appeared in The Nation, Evergreen Review, Yugen, Poetry, Big Table, City Lights Journal and Kulchur. I have an unpublished novel of a boy's 17th year titled The Mad Cub. My eyes are intense dark brown and sometimes insane. I believe in LIBERTY, BEAUTY, FREEDOM, AND THE CREATION OF MY SOUL AND HELPING OTHERS IN THE CREATION OF THEIRS through poetry." (Cover, Ghost Tantras, 1967). See Miscellany Collection folder for further information.

Allen Ginsberg: "McClure's poetry is a blob of protoplasmic energy." (Big Table)