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
Dame Vivienne Westwood: The former Queen of Punk may now be an establishment pillar, but her work is still controversial – and much copied
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
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