day job: manager of building where Jim Morrison used to live
also artist and printer, and heroin addict for a time. Later established
the Temple of Man in 1966
Agha Shahid Ali
Kashmiri poet, not local but the subject of a Venice incident reported
by Christopher Merrill: He signed bookshis
own and otherswith lavish inscriptions. At lunch in Venice, California,
for example, he presented me with a book
.. On the title page, inspired
by the sight of all the sleek women in bikinis rollerblading by, he wrote:
"we again learn, on the boardwalk, that some hieroglyphs of desire
move on wheels."
two books, Scratch Cherpeski, Loving is Becoming. Venice
poem is here
Lived in Venice early 1960s
Rose Café reading series, "Living Mythically" workshop
Her poem "On the Mockingbird Singing in the Morning in the Barrio
a Few Blocks from the Boardwalk on the Beach in Venice, California"
was a runner-up in the 1997 Marlboro Prize poetry competition. Blackhawk
went on to found and direct a writers-in-schools program called InsideOut,
many years in Venice, relocated to Topanga
Also a singer and songwriter. Her poems have been translated into Czech,
French, Arabic, and Spanish, and have been published in several countries.
Has taught English, Literature, Creative Writing, and Critical Thinking
at the college level for two decades. Hosted a monthly poetry reading
series called "Ambassadors of Delight" for three years; hosts
Time Warner Public Access TV show called Marcielle Presents!
I don't know if Susie Bright writes poetry, but in reviewing a record
album she remarked that when she was 14 her father used to take her on
Wednesday evenings to a poetry group that met in a shabby room in Venice.
People passed around quarts of malt liquor and read their latest work,
including a woman with the messiest hair I had ever seen, named Exene
joined the original Venice Poetry Workshop in 1969.
hung out with Venice Beats & Bukowski.
co-facilitator of Hyperpoets reading series at Rose Cafe
director of Beyond Baroque
director of Beyond Baroque, "Spirit of Venice" award, Sept.
wrote "The Venice Poem" and gave at least one reading at
On The Beach Bookstore. Don't know if he ever lived in Venice
teacher of poetry at Beyond Baroque
Beat scene, early 60s. Foster came from money, went to grad school, served
in the Army air corps, was an alcoholic, wrote ad copy, and according
to the detailed employment log given by John Arthur Maynard, Foster may
have held more different kinds of jobs than any living person. A junkie
who hung out with Alexander Trocchi, Foster wrote "The Troubled Makers"
which was published in Evergreen Review. Maynard says, "Of
all the Venice Beats, only Charlie Foster started out with any substantial
advantages in life, and he spent his whole life making sure they would
do him no good."
also known as the bearded witch of Ocean Park and the female Charles Bukowski
founder/MC of The Venice Poetry Readings in The New Library, successor/continuation
of The Venice Poetry Readings in the Old Jail, after a short 20-year hiatus.
co-founder of the Venice Poetry Workshop in 1969
co-founder of the Venice Poetry Workshop in 1969
lived in Venice from 1967-71. His first major book of poetry was
A Correspondence of Americans. He taught at UCLA and, along with
other anti-Vietnam war activities, gave A marks to students eligible for
the draft. This got him fired. He studied Kaballah, and as a homelessness
activist, was arrested several times. In January of 2006, named Poet Laureate
of San Francisco.
The only black Beat poet with a Jewish name, Kaufman was born in New Orleans
to a black mother and white father. He was also known as "The Black
American Rimbaud" and "The Original Be-Bop Man."
David Meltzer said of him, Bob
Kaufman was overtly political, invariably confronting the two policemen
on the beat and antagonizing them to the point where theyd beat
the shit out of him and take him to jail. Then hed come back and
do it again.
I first heard of Kaufman through being in a screenwriting
seminar, at Beyond Baroque, with his wife Eileen. She was writing a screenplay
about Kaufman's life and their son was going to play the lead. I'm pretty
sure she told me he was dead, and that was in early 1978. In October of
'81, I read a review by Kate Braverman of The Ancient Rain, a collection
of Kaufman's poems, and she spoke of him in the past tense.
So imagine my surprise on reading in January of 1986
that Bob Kaufman had just died from emphysema at age 60. The explanation
of the mystery: apparently he was in the habit of withdrawing from life
to such an extent that he might as well have been dead. It is said that
Kaufman gave up talking in 1963 and didn't speak again until 1975 when
the Vietnam war ended. Andrei Codrescu says, Kaufman
did, eventually, talk again and astonished everyone with long poems composed
in his mind during the long years of silence.
Then in 1978 Bob Kaufman said, I
want to be anonymous - my ambition is to be completely forgotten,
and stopped talking again. It may be that he convinced his wife and everyone
else to refer to him as no longer living.
Korean war veteran, painter, poet, who ran the Venice West Café
after Perkoff gave it up
Rose Café reading series, also a novelist, teacher of "Living
Mainly known as a science fiction writer and as an actor, upon his death
Leiber left to the University of Houston more than 60 boxes of his literary
effects. Box #38 (one of the 15 boxes of Leiber's own writings) contains
an item called "Poetry 1959 - The Beach at Santa Monica from Venice
Bruno in Venice West and Other Poems was published in 1976 by Venice
West Publishers, which happened to be in Van Nuys. The works were selected
and arranged by Lipton before his death in 1974. The title poem is dedicated
to Giordano Bruno, who was burned by the Inquisition in 1600. This
Venice of the West was born a bastard...when business and the arts are
mated, money takes the Muse to bed.
Lipton was accused by the Beats of aggrandizing himself
and attracting tourists, who rubbernecked their way through Venice just
as they would years later through the Haight-Ashbury hippie district of
San Francisco. But if nothing else, Lipton was in the right time and right
place to save the notebooks of Stuart Perkoff, who was in police custody,
when family members cleaned out his house. That alone is sufficient to
I've seen an autographed first edition of Lipton's book
The Holy Barbarians offered for sale at around $300. He signed
it in 1959 with the inscription, Come to Venice West
and make the scene.
John Arthur Maynard wrote of him, "Like most who
speak for movements, Lipton had a habit of exaggerating the size of his
.he tended to give the impression that Venice West was full
of beatniks, even though he was only talking about two or three dozen
" (On the other hand, you-know-Who started out
with only one dozen.) According to Maynard, Perkoff maintained that Liptons
book should have been called Holy Horseshit.
He lived at 20 Park, on a walk street fifty yards from
His poem "Julie" contains the lines, ....so
she went away to live in Venice wearing no makeup......but someone should
have told poor Julie the Beats have all gone home......
Not local, but famous, in 1914 or perhaps 1916 he was scheduled to recite
at the auditorium of the Venice Grammar School (Westminster) with rave
advance publicity. Markham was known for his short poem, "Outwitted."
He drew a circle that shut me out -
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout;
But love and I had the with to win;
We drew a circle that took him in.
Has been called notorious, infamous and degenerate by peers. In The
Beats: An Existential Comedy he wanders around the boardwalk. In another
film he descends the circular staircase of an oil storage tank to the
tune of "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody." Read at On the Beach
Bookstore and other places in mid-60s. Became Warhol Superstar.
On a website devote to the haiku form, this poem was found:
can't stop the rain
art director of the Gas House, lived in the cellar of what is now the
Morrison with Jimmy Morris and Tony Scibella, left Venice in 1961. Some
of her Venice poems are here.
James Ryan Morris
Korean war veteran. Later in Colorado, one of those responsible for newspaper
Mile High Underground
co-host of the HyperPoets weekly reading series at the Rose Cafe'
born and raised in Venice
One of the major Beat Era poets. He and his wife bought a 2 bedroom house
in 1977 for $65,000, according to a relative.
George Drury Smith
Writer for Argonaut since 1972. Founded Beyond Baroque, directed
it for about 12 years. Venice resident till early 80s
poetry reading at the Fox Venice in 1976
David St. John
A 1994 issue of American Poetry Review published an interview conducted
by Karen Fish with St. John at his home in Venice, where he had resided
for seven years. Indeed the matter of where he lived was uppermost on
the poet's mind. When asked how he would prefer to begin, he cited the
precedents of the Paris Review and Esquire, which had both
recently featured writers talking about the places they inhabited. St.
John wanted the article about him to note that he lives
with his wife, poet Molly Bendall, and their daughter Vivienne in a 1910
Craftsman bungalow on a historic, palm-lined street in Venice, California.
He added that the fireplace mantel was made
from a piece of the original Venice Pier, recovered after the fire. Before
that, St. John had lived in an apartment near Muscle Beach in which some
members of Suicidal Tendencies and the Eagles had previously lived. It
was also near the boardwalk building that was once home to Jim Morrison,
now decorated with a large mural depicting the musician.
St. John said that to him the most amazing
thing about Venice was the mix of people.
Young Poets Society, author of Free Stallion, has read locally
many times. As creative Influences she names: Virginia Woolf, Katherine
Mansfield, Dennis Hopper, David Lynch, Ed Ruscha, Neil Young, Jack Hirschman,
Nathaneal West, Pable Neruda, Dylan Thomas.
I'm coming at poetry from a very old-fashioned
era that's more diverse politically.....a lot of older poets talk about
what's happened over the ages that might have created the mess we're in
In the early 80s or thereabouts, this was a dial-a-poem service that
accepted works from which accepted works from local poets. It had a Venice
exchange and the Dust Directory listed its address as 230 San Juan Avenue.
Originated a zine called Stilts
hung out in Venice with Wallace Berman
Beyond Baroque group in the early 80s, editor and publisher of Sherwood
ran the Rose Café reading series