Friday, December 2, 2016

Legendary Beat Poet Michael McClure, and Garret Caples

A landmark work of bio-romanticism, Mephistos and Other Poemsis the first completely new collection in five years from legendary Beat and SF Renaissance poet Michael McClure. The title sequence, "Mephistos," stems from McClure's ongoing "grafting" experiment, growing new poems from fragments of his older works. "Some Fringes" is a series of haiku-like nature poems, while the 17-part "Rose Breaths" derives from the poet's practice of meditation. The freestanding poems grouped under the title "Being" pay homage to many of McClure's collaborators and fellow travelers, such as Bruce Conner, Terry Riley, and Dave Haselwood. The book climaxes with "Song Heavy," recounting McClure's recent encounter with a beached whale in Rockport, MA, and recalling his classic "For the Death of 100 Whales," which he read at the Six Gallery in 1955—the inaugural moment of American eco-poetics.

Garrett Caples is the author of Power Ballads (forthcoming from Wave Books, 2016), Retrievals (2014), The Garrett Caples Reader (1999),  Complications  (2007),  and Quintessence of the Minor(2010). He is the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (2013). He is the poetry editor at City Lights Books and curates the Spotlight Poetry Series there. He is also a contributing writer to the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has written articles and blogged for the Poetry Foundation and occasionally blogs for blogcitylights.com. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in San Francisco.