For everyone wanting to prolong that Robert Duncan high sparked by The H.D. Book [Kindle] and Lisa Jarnot's NBCC finalist The Ambassador from Venus [Kindle], City Lights is reissuing Michael Rumaker's classic short memoir Robert Duncan in San Francisco with additional and new material from the author, now 80. It's
"...both a portrait of the premier poet of the San Francisco Renaissance and a fascinating account of gay life in late 1950s America... Rumaker made his way to the post-Howl, pre-Stonewall gay literary milieu of San Francisco, where he entered the circle of Robert Duncan. His account of that time gives an unvarnished look at Duncan's magnetic personality and occasional failings, while delivering vivid snapshots of other significant poets like Jack Spicer, John Wieners, and Joanne Kyger... Contrasting Duncan's daringly frank homosexuality with his own then-closeted life, Rumaker conjures up with harrowing detail an era of police persecution of a largely clandestine gay community struggling to survive in the otherwise 'open city.'
Speaking of Spicer, yesterday was his birthday when you ought to have had a swift reminder to get his collected poems in My Vocabulary Did This to Me, his collected lectures in The House That Jack Built, and his one detective novel The Tower of Babel, as well as Lewis Ellingham's group bio Poet Be Like God and the anthology After Spicer.