Janine Pommy Vega

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Janine Pommy Vega (born February 5, 1942) is an American poet associated with the Beats.

Vega grew up in Union City, New Jersey. At the age of fifteen, inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road, she travelled to Manhattan to become involved in the Beat scene there.

In 1962, Vega moved to Europe with her husband, painter Fernando Vega. After his sudden death, she returned to New York, and then moved to California. Her first book, Poems to Fernando, was published by City Lights in 1968 as part of their City Lights Pocket Poets Series. During the early 1970's, Janine lived as a hermit on the Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca. Out of this self-imposed exile came Journal of a Hermit (1974) and Morning Passage (1976). Currently, Vega lives in Willow, NY, a small hamlet near Woodstock. She continues writing and performing, working for human rights, writing letters and poetry

Since returning to the Americas, she has published more than a dozen books, including Tracking the Serpent: Journeys to Four Continents (1997) which is a collection of travel writings. Her most recent book of poetry is The Green Piano.[1]

In the 1970s, Vega began working as an educator in schools through various arts in education programs and in prisons through the Incisions/Arts organisation. She has served on the PEN Prison Writing Committee. Pommy Vega is a pioneer of the women's movement in the United States. She has worked to improve the lives, conditions, and opportunities for women in prison.

Janine Pommy Vega has traveled throughout the North American and South American continents, all throughout Europe, including Eastern Europe, countries in the middle east, often alone. She makes friends everywhere, approaching all on the same, basic, human level, with love and compassion.


  1. ^ Vega, Janine Pommy (2005), The Green Piano: New Poems, David R. Godine, Publisher. ISBN 1-57423-207-X
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  • Women of the Beat Biography Page for Janine Pommy Vega
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