Joanne Kyger

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Joanne Kyger (born November 19, 1934) is an American poet. Her poetry is influenced by her practice of Zen Buddhism and her ties to the poets of the Black Mountain, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the Beat generation.


  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Notes
  • 3 See also
  • 4 External links


Kyger studied at Santa Barbara College but left before graduating. She moved to San Francisco and became involved with the poetry scene around Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan.

In 1959 she moved to Japan with Gary Snyder and then travelled to India with Snyder, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. She returned to the United States in 1964 and her first book, The Tapestry and the Web was published the next year.

Kyger has published more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including Going On: Selected Poems, 1958-1980 (1983) [1] and Just Space: poems, 1979-1989 (1991). She has lived in Bolinas since 1968, where she has edited the local newspaper and done some occasional teaching at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

In 2000, Kyger published a collection of autobiographical writings: Strange Big Moon: Japan and India Journals, 1960-1964, which Anne Waldman has called "one of the finest books ever in the genre of 'journal writing.'"

Most recent poetry collections: God Never Dies (Blue Press), The Distressed Look (Coyote Books), Again (La Alameda Press), and As Ever: Selected Poems published by Penguin Books. As of the Fall 2006, her latest collection About Now: Collected Poems is forthcoming from National Poetry Foundation.


  1. ^ a winner in the National Poetry Series

See also

  • Bolinas, California
  • Women of the Beat Biography for Joanne Kyger
  • Interview with Joanne Kyger
  • "to be Jack Spicer in a dream": Joanne Kyger and the San Francisco Renaissance, 1957-65 essay by Linda Russo at Jacket Magazine website
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