THE 1960s
A Section From Jack Foley's
A California Literary Time Line

from Berkeley Daze


"From about 1930 on, a conspiracy of bad poetry has been as carefully organized as the Communist Party, and today controls most channels of publication except the littlest of the little magazines. . . We disaffiliate."
—Kenneth Rexroth, 1957

Richard Denner asked me for a section from my work in progress, Visions & Affiliations: A California Literary Time Line —Poets & Poetry 1940-2005, forthcoming from Pantograph Press. This is the section dealing with the 1960s.

I conceive of the book as a portrait in motion of a scene that stretches over sixty-five years. People, ideas, and stories appear, disappear, and reappear as the second half of the century moves forward. Poetry is a major element in this kaleidoscopic California scene. It is argued about, dismissed, renewed, denounced in fury, asserted as divine, and criticized as pornographic. Poetry is as Western as the Sierra foothills, and the questions raised here go to its very heart. Beginning with the publication of Kenneth Rexroth's first book, In What Hour, this 800-page history-as-collage plunges us forward into the 21st Century.

Andrew Joron writes of the book, "Your timeline brings home the fact that the creative ferment in this period, in this place, rivals any world-changing cultural conjuncture (such as occurred in Paris, Berlin, London, New York...) in modern times."

Click here to read the 1960s excerpt from Jack Foley's Timeline


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