Open Letter from Joel Climenhaga

Joel Climenhaga... 115 San Jose Drive, Bisbee, Arizona, 85603-3009, USA
[Telephone # (520) 432-3410]

The meaning is in the wonder.
Through acceptance of the mystery, peace.
And only through peace can come acceptance of the mystery.
We are not open. The glory cannot come in. How soon after our best things
         is the taste bitter again.
As of this earth and what I am on this earth -- I fiercely wish to protect the 
           things I love.
They fill my eyes with tears -- the things I love.
Suppose they are nothing -- They are all I have.
-- Excerpted from "Panel Three" in PANELS FOR THE WALLS OF HEAVEN © 1946, 1972 by Kenneth Patchen


January 1997

There are two reasons for my writing this letter at this time...

My main reason is to remind you that 1997 marks the 25th anniversary of the year of Kenneth Patchen's death... He died in this same month in 1972.

Which brings me to the second -- and I think equally important -- reason... I invite you to a special commemoration of the life and work of Patchen during the 1997 Summer Writing Program of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at The Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado. This celebration of Patchen's life and work will be from July 10th through July 13th.

Patchen unquestionably was one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century. And yet, he is also one of the most widely neglected by academic circles. Even though this is true, the "underground" does not neglect him...! That has been proven over and over again -- both during his life and since his death. I don't think we should neglect him, either... I know all of you (or about you), one way or another; you all know me (or about me), for one reason or another. And I invite all of you to come to Boulder this coming July to share with me our memories of Patchen...!

Some of you already have received a letter of invitation from Max Regan, Director of the Summer Writing Program of the Naropa Institute. If you have any questions, you should contact Max.

For those others of you who are reading about this commemoration for the first time, I tell you that there will be a number of events of interest. One will be a panel discussion of Patchen's life/work. On that panel will be Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Anselm Hollo, and me -- as well as others to be designated later. Also, I've been asked to give a speech about Patchen (Naropa referred to it as a lecture; I assure you it will be a "non-lecture"). I'm titling this "non-lecture" Kenneth Patchen : The Peaceful Lier. There is the possibility of an exhibit of some of Patchen's original paintings, if that can be properly arranged. During the evenings will be poetry readings. [For all the day-time activities -- which includes both the panel discussion and the "non-lecture" -- the admission is free. However, you will need to get a pass for those activities from Max Regan. I'm told there will be a nominal charge for the poetry readings in the evening.]

This, of course, is only a partial description of all that will happen. I'm sure other events will be developed.

If you have any questions you want to ask me, please do so... If you want additional information concerning the various events (as well as any specifics concerning accomodations in Boulder, stuff like that), your questions should be sent to Max Regan. [Her address is : Max Regan, Summer Program Administrative Director, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, The Naropa Institute, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, Colorado, 80302-6697, USA.]



Joel Climenhaga

You, -- The meaning is in the Wonder

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