Monday 18 May 1998
In 1957, Henry Miller wrote: "Kenneth Patchen is now and will remain one of the outstanding figures in American letters." A lot of writers championed Patchen in his time - including TS Eliot, ee cummings and WH Auden. But since his death in 1972, his name has started to slide into oblivion. In a life rendered an agony by a spinal injury in his youth, he published over 40 books of verse and prose, was a pioneer in the poetry and jazz movement of the 1950s and fused his skills as a wordsmith and painter, creating what has been rather leadenly described as the Picture Poem. An exhibition of these at the Poetry Library (Royal Festival Hall, SE1, to 28 June) will reveal a complex vision - enchanted landscapes offering sanctuary from the violence he saw all around him. A talk tonight at the Tate Gallery, featuring the San Franciscan poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, should serve as a valuable, if belated, introduction to this remarkable individual.
Life & Style blogs
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
NHS patients to be seen by 'doctors on the cheap'
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Wearable chair allows workers to sit anywhere - and could save millions in healthcare bills
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
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