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Posted: Monday January 23, 2012
Michael McClure

Michael McClure is a novelist, musician, playwright and poet who came to prominence in the 1950s as a central figure of the beat generation. McClure’s recent books are Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems (University of California Press, 2010) and Mysteriosos and Other Poems (New Directions, 2010). He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, an Obie Award for Best New American Play, a Rockefeller Grant for Playwriting, the Josephine Miles Literary Award and the Alfred Jarry Award. He has written more than twenty plays, which are regularly performed in the United States and abroad. The notorious The Beard became a touchstone for anti-censorship lobbyists when its first performances in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1965 were raided by police and the actors charged with obscenity.

Michael McClure often performs his poetry with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek accompanying on piano. The pair have worked together on several albums. McClure has also collaborated with composer Terry Riley; their recent album is I Like Your Eyes Liberty. McClure wrote the pop song “Mercedes Benz” with Janis Joplin and beat poet Bob Neuwirth. He is married to the sculptor Amy Evans McClure.

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“McClure’s poetry is a blob of protoplasmic energy.”
—Allen Ginsberg

“McClure’s poetry and prose is one of the more remarkable achievements in recent American literature.”
—Times Literary Supplement

“a serious, though lively, work of poetry, and one could argue that you shouldn’t simply read it, but study it, and be deeply rewarded by that endeavor. … What is striking about Specks is that it embodies the philosophy it espouses. It is a wide-reaching open form that absorbs, activates, and is influenced by all it encounters. … an appropriative modernist text, with a multitude of sources woven into an all-encompassing lingual texture … a book that should be studied with the hope that it may startle our dull minds alert, so to speak, allowing us to achieve greater heights of personal transformation. … we need things to intensify life, not dull it, and Specks is one of those things.”
– Prick of the Spindle

“Tourné vers la science, les atomes, la biologie et le corps, McClure chemine et analyse le réel à l’aide de son regard unique. Ses poèmes plongent le lecteur dans des réflexions profondes. Il faut lire ce recueil ainsi que l’œuvre complète de ce poète associé à la Beat Generation.”
Canadian Literature

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