David Meltzer

A poet at age 11, David Meltzer began his literary career during the Beat heyday in San Francisco and early on took his poetry to jazz for improv wonders, which he continues to astound listeners with today. He is the author of many volumes of poetry including The Clown, The Process, Arrows: Selected Poetry, 1957 – 1992, No Eyes: Lester Young, Beat Thing, and David's Copy. City Lights published his most recent book of poetry, When I Was A Poet, as # 60 in the Pocket Poet's Series, and a reissue of his classic book of poetics, Two-Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook coming out in 2015. Meltzer edited numerous anthologies such as Reading Jazz, Writing Jazz, and San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. He was also the lead singer and guitarist of the psychedelic folk-rock group The Serpent Power, whose eponymous 1967 Vanguard Records LP was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the top 40 albums of the Summer of Love (which included a number of classic albums released that year, including Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles). He taught in the Humanities and graduate Poetics programs at the New College of California in San Francisco for 30 years. In 2011 he received the SF Bay Guardian's Lifetime Achievement Award. He died in December 2016.

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