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Finding Aid for the Kenneth Rexroth papers, 1853-1986 (bulk 1950-1975)
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Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982) was an author, critic, poet, teacher, translator and active member of San Francisco's cultural, political, and poetry scenes from the 1930s through the 1960s. The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, and ephemera by and about Rexroth, and members of his circle.
Born December 22, 1905 in South Bend, Indiana; campaigned for many radical groups, particularly the Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World), and espoused eroticism and general anarchy; influenced by poet William Carlos Williams and the Second Chicago Renaissance; founded San Francisco Poetry Center with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg; although his Bohemian lifestyle was emulated by Beats, he did not like the movement for its artistic excess and lack of rigor; noted as an accomplished painter with one-man shows throughout the world; translated poems from the Chinese and Japanese languages; died June 6, 1982 in Montecito, California.Kenneth Rexroth (22 Dec. 1905- 6 June 1982) was born in Southwest Indiana. His family lived in various Midwestern cities until he was orphaned in 1919, and moved in with an aunt in Chicago. Rexroth pursued a vigorous self-education while working odd jobs, backpacking across the country, and writing poetry; his early work was strongly influenced by Chicago's Second Renaissance. He married Andrée Schafer in 1927, and the couple moved to San Francisco. During the early 1930s, Rexroth became involved in the Communist party's John Reed Clubs. During this time he developed friendships with other leftist poets. In the mid-1930s, Rexroth participated in the Federal Writers' Project, and published some of his poetry in journals and little magazines. His lifelong friendship with prominent New Directions publisher James Laughlin was established at this time.
154 boxes (77 linear ft.) 5 oversize boxes
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