Napa Bookmine and Napa County Poet Laureate Jeremy Benson welcome Kevin Killian for a reading in Napa, and a conversation about editing and researching the writing and life of San Francisco poet Jack Spicer.
Kevin Killian, one of the original “New Narrative” writers, has written three novels, Shy (1989), Arctic Summer (1997), and Spreadeagle (2012), a book of memoirs , and three books of stories. He has also written four books of poetry, most recently Tony Greene Era, from Wonder Books. With Peter Gizzi he has edited My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (2008)—for Wesleyan University Press. Wesleyan also brought out Killian and Lew Ellingham’s acclaimed biography of Spicer in 1998.
For the San Francisco Poets Theater Killian has written forty-five plays, and the anthology he compiled with David Brazil—The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985—has become the standard book on the subject. Recent projects include Tagged, Killian’s nude photographs of poets, artists, writers, filmmakers and intellectuals; and, with Dodie Bellamy, Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative Writing 1977-1997 (Nightboat Books). Two new projects appear in November 2018: Fascination: Memoirs, from Semiotext(e)/MIT, including Triangles in the Sand, Killian’s memories of the musician Arthur Russell; and Stage Fright (from Kenning)—ten plays from the ad hoc performance group San Francisco Poets Theater. He teaches writing to MFA students at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Poetry. TONY GREENE ERA is a new collection of poems by artist, poet, and photographer Kevin Killian, a founding member of the New Narrative movement. Doomed and dizzied by memories of lovers, cities, troubles, stray phrases still audible over a radioed past, these new poems seek a sandcastle San Francisco only to find it slowly dissolving into its past.
This long overdue anthology of New Narrative includes both classic New Narrative texts and rare supplementary materials, allowing the movement fueled by punk, pop, porn, French theory, and social struggle to bound back to life, ripe with dramatic propulsion, to form a new map of late 20th century creative rebellion.
Winner of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Award for Poetry (2009)
Winner of the American Book Award (2009)