Tribute to Kenneth Patchen

Last Updated 9 Mar 96

Kenneth Patchen was, even during his lifetime, regarded by some discerning people on this side of the Atlantic as one of the most significant American poets of his time. But recognition of his achievements is still inchoate, far too insufficient. It was with this is mind that I felt that even this small book of tributes might stimulate more interest in Patchen's importance not only as a writer of verse but also as a powerful critic of the blight and death-wish in Western civilisation. Some of the contributors have drawn attention to his extreme physical suffering and the way he was forced to endure the difficulties to which many creative artists are exposed. In that sense Patchen can be regarded as an exemplification of the sacrificial stresses which seem to be the means by which the vision of outstanding creative spirits is enhanced for the benefit of their fellow-beings. Love, awareness of what it is that threatens mankind and the courage to endure and transcend difficulties, are the vital components in the message contained in Patchen's work.

London, 1976
Alan Clodd


WILLIAM EVERSON (1912-1994) - Kenneth Patchen is dead

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI - An elegy on the death of Kenneth Patchen

HOWARD SCHOENFELD - The generous spirit of Kenneth Patchen

CHARLES WREY GARDINER - A note on the first publication of Kenneth Patchen in England

JAMES SCHEVILL - Kenneth Patchen : the search for wonder and joy

DIANE DI PRIMA (1934- ) - Kenneth Patchen and the early 1950's

BERNARD KOPS - Prophet of sanity

MICHAEL HOROVITZ - The path of a primrose

JOEL CLIMENHAGA - 'I wonder what became of human beings'

HUGO MANNING - Kenneth Patchen : man of love


JONATHAN CLARK - Strong and beautiful

DIANE WALD - The rush is over (elegy for Kenneth Patchen)

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