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Kenneth Rexroth Archive

 

Introduction
Texts at This Site
Texts at Other Websites
Rexroth Books in Print
Out-of-Print Rexroth Books

 


 

Introduction

This section of the BPS website is devoted to writings by and about the great poet, essayist, social critic and Renaissance man, Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982). The emphasis will be on his out-of-print works (especially his numerous essays, articles and reviews), but it will also include selections from some of the in-print works. The primary aim is to introduce readers to a truly wonderful writer and encourage them to seek out whatever books of his are available. If enough interest is generated, perhaps publishers will bring more of his works back into print.

Unlike most of the texts at this website, the Rexroth works are all copyrighted. As indicated after each text, they are reproduced here either by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. (80 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10011) or by permission of Copper Canyon Press (P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368) or by permission of Bradford Morrow, Literary Executor of the Kenneth Rexroth Trust (21 East 10th Street #3E, New York, NY 10003). They may not be reproduced for any commercial purpose, and even any extensive noncommercial reproduction should first be okayed with New Directions, Copper Canyon, or Mr. Morrow.

This is not an “official” Rexroth site. I have no connection, economic or otherwise, with Rexroth’s heirs or publishers. The work on it is a labor of love and the choice of texts is completely my own.

—KK


 

Texts at This Site


By Rexroth:

Autobiography (excerpts)
Classics Revisited (selections from two books)
Communalism: From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century (complete book)
Camping in the Western Mountains (complete, never-published guidebook)
Essays
Poems
Rexroth’s San Francisco (selected newspaper & magazine columns)
San Francisco Fifty Years Ago (complete columns for the San Francisco Examiner) (ongoing project)
Translations (from Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish & French)

By Rexroth, translated into other languages:
Poems translated into French (Joël Cornuault)
Le San Francisco de Kenneth Rexroth (Joël Cornuault)
Les Classiques revisités (Nadine Bloch & Joël Cornuault)

About Rexroth:
The Relevance of Rexroth (complete book by Ken Knabb)
Éloge de Kenneth Rexroth (same book in French)
Erotismo, Misticismo y Revolución (same book in Spanish)
A Clueless Life of Kenneth Rexroth (Knabb’s review of Hamalian’s biography)
Discovering Rexroth (Knabb)
Talking about Rexroth (Gibson & Knabb)

See also the Rexrothentry in the Site Index.

 

Texts at Other Websites


By Rexroth:

Articles, Essays and Reviews:
       The Kennedy-Nixon Debate
       Review of Charles Bukowski, etc.
       PDFs of several articles from The Alternative Society
Letters:
       Letters to Morgan Gibson
Interviews:
       Interviewed by Jerome Rothenberg & David Antin
       Interviewed by Bradford Morrow
Anthology:
       The New British Poets: An Anthology (complete book, edited with an introduction by Rexroth)
Poems and Translations:
       One poem
       One poem plus links and a brief bio
       Two poems with musical background, here and here
       Seven poems
       Fourteen poems
       Translations of six Ho Chi Minh prison poems
       Translations of seven poems by Pierre Reverdy
       Introduction to 100 Poems from the Japanese
Readings of Rexroth’s poetry:
       Rexroth reading four poems with jazz accompaniment
       Rexroth reading another poem with jazz accompaniment
       Rexroth reading a poem about Sacco and Vanzetti (YouTube video)
       Rexroth reading seven poems (including “This Night Only” with the original Erik Satie accompaniment)
       Rexroth at the San Francisco Poetry Center (1955, 48 minutes, reading his poems and translations)
       Rexroth at the San Francisco Poetry Center (1959, 47 minutes, reading his own poems, including one to Lionel Hampton, and also playing records of French songs)
       Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Michael McClure recreate the famous Six Gallery reading (the original Six Gallery reading — San Francisco, October 1955 — was not recorded; this recording covers part of the March 1956 re-creation in Berkeley)
       Rexroth at the University of North Dakota Writers Conference (1974, 65 minutes, including two poems, but mostly answering audience questions re the counterculture and its cooption, Bob Dylan, the Mafia, the Black Panthers, the Hearst kidnapping, terrorism and provocateurs, the corruption of American culture by militarism, etc.)
       Garrison Keillor reading a Rexroth poem (When you click the link, a RealPlayer box should come up which will play 30 minutes of a Prairie Home Companion New Year’s program. If you want to skip directly to the Rexroth poem, move the dial to 23:30. Alternatively, you can go the webpage for that program and check out the whole program. The Rexroth poem is near the end of Segment 4.)
       Garrison Keillor reading three Rexroth poems with cello accompaniment (click this link, then click “Segment 2”)
       Several other archived Keillor readings of Rexroth  

By Rexroth, translated into other languages:
Las ventajas de aprender y otros poemas (33 poems translated into Spanish by Jorge Fondebrider)
Four poems translated into Spanish (selections from the above book)
A dozen poems or excerpts translated into Spanish
Five poems translated into Spanish (from La señal de todas las cosas, trans. Marcello Pellegrini & Armando Roa Vial, Chile)
One poem translated into Spanish (Dasbald)
Several poems and translations translated into Spanish (Carlos Mayhua)
Spanish versions of six of Rexroth’s translations from the Greek (Daniel Bellón)
Communalism (complete book) translated into Portuguese (Coletivo Periferia, Brazil)
Seven poems translated into Turkish
One poem translated into Hungarian

About Rexroth:
Revolutionary Rexroth: Poet of East-West Wisdom (complete book by Morgan Gibson)
Four essays (Donald Gutierrez, Linda Hamalian, Bradford Morrow, Sam Hamill/Elaine Laura Kleiner)
Essay on Rexroth and Paul Goodman (Gregory Knapp)
Kenneth Rexroth: Protest, Rebellion, and Beyond (Karl Young)
Review of Rexroth’s Complete Poems (Jack Foley)
When We With Rexroth (Jacket magazine special Rexroth issue, with numerous articles by Kevin Gallagher, Sam Hamill, Jerome Rothenberg, Eliot Weinberger, etc.)
Third Rail (excerpts from special Rexroth issue)
Rexroth and His Poetry (interview with Sam Hamill)
Introduction to Chicago Review special Rexroth issue (John Beer & Max Blechman)
Cover and contents of above Chicago Review issue (including link to Morgan Gibson’s “I-Thou Poem for KR”)
When We With Sappho (essay on Rexroth and the classic Greeks by Gregory McNamee)
Review of Rexroth’s Selected Poems (Chris Faatz)
The King Is Dead, Long Live the King (essay on Rexroth’s jazz poetry by Uri Hertz)
With a Tabloid Biographer Who Needs an Oeuvre? (John Solt review of Hamalian’s biography)
Rexroth, Bukowski and the Politics of Literature (Ben Pleasants)
Original/Translation: The Aesthetic Context of Kenneth Rexroth’s Translations of Du Fu and Li Qingzhao (Lucas Klein)
Communion and Deviation: Kenneth Rexroth's Approach to Classical Chinese Poetry (Yunzhong Shu)
How Reading Rexroth Changed My Life (Jim Moore)
Seven Things About Kenneth Rexroth (Michael McClure)
Adding to Our Nature (Doren Robbins review of In the Sierra)

Miscellaneous:
Daily Bleed Rexroth Page (links to assorted photos plus an anarcho-literary calendar that includes frequent quotes from Rexroth)
Reading Rat (“Recommended Reading” pages collate Classics Revisited with several other lists of recommended books)
Kenneth Rexroth: Poet, Painter, Man of Letters (photos, book and record covers, and information on 2005 centennial celebrations around the world)
Rexroth’s Personal Library (Rexroth’s personal library of some 15,000 books was purchased by the Kanda University of International Studies (Japan). The collection has now been catalogued so that you can find out what books Rexroth owned by any given author, etc. Unfortunately, many of his books were separately sold off before the university acquired the collection, so its holdings in some areas are very incomplete.)
Program of an International Rexroth Symposium (Chiba, Japan, October 2007)
A painting by Andrée Rexroth (Rexroth’s first wife)
The Uncarved Block (“a blog devoted to mysticism and anarchism, inspired especially by the works of Kenneth Rexroth”)

 

Rexroth Books in Print

(All are published by New Directions unless otherwise indicated.)

Collected Shorter Poems (1966)
Collected Longer Poems (1968)
Selected Poems (1984)
Sacramental Acts: The Love Poems (Copper Canyon, 1997)
Swords That Shall Not Strike: Poems of Protest and Rebellion (Glad Day, 1999)
Complete Poems (Copper Canyon, 2003)
Beyond the Mountains: Four Plays in Verse (1951)
World Outside the Window: Selected Essays (1987)
Classics Revisited (1964; 1986)
More Classics Revisited (1989)
An Autobiographical Novel (1964; expanded edition, 1991)
Kenneth Rexroth and James Laughlin: Selected Letters (Norton, 1991)
Kenneth Rexroth: A Centenary Portfolio (Chicago Review special issue, Autumn 2006)
In the Sierra: Mountain Writings (2012)  NEW AND RECOMMENDED

Translations
100 Poems from the Chinese
100 More Poems from the Chinese
Women Poets of China
Complete Poems of Li Ch’ing-Chao
100 Poems from the Japanese
100 More Poems from the Japanese
Women Poets of Japan
Seasons of Sacred Lust: Selected Poems of Kazuko Shiraishi
Selected Poems of Pierre Reverdy
14 Poems by O. V. de Lubicz-Milosz
(Copper Canyon)
Poems from the Greek Anthology
(Ann Arbor)
(There are also several recent small gift-book selections of his Asian translations that I have not listed.)

The above books can all be ordered through bookstores or online distributors. The New Directions books can also be ordered at the New Directions website.

 

Out-of-Print Rexroth Books


Camping in the Western Mountains (written 1939 but never published)
Bird in the Bush: Obvious Essays (1959)
Assays (1961)
The Alternative Society: Essays from the Other World (Herder & Herder, 1970)
With Eye and Ear (Herder & Herder, 1970)
American Poetry in the Twentieth Century (Herder & Herder, 1971)
The Elastic Retort: Essays in Literature and Ideas (Seabury, 1973)
Communalism: From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century (Seabury, 1974)
Flower Wreath Hill: Later Poems (1991)

Translations
30 Spanish Poems of Love and Exile (City Lights, 1956)
100 Poems from the French
(Pym-Randall, 1972)

There is also an immense mass of articles, columns, essays, reviews, introductions, interviews, letters, radio tapes, etc., that have never been collected.

 

 

  


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