August Kleinzahler

Described on the Poetry Foundation's website as a “pugnacious” and a “pugilist poet,” August Kleinzahler’s reputation rests on his jazzy, inventive and energetic poetry, though he has also garnered notice as something of a bad-boy literary outsider prone to picking fights with the establishment.

Allen Ginsberg commented: "August Kleinzahler's verse line is always precise, concrete, intelligent and rare...."

Kleinzahler wrote a music column in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Articles by August Kleinzahler

August Kleinzahler's The Strange Hours Travelers Keep

A self interview

When you see a poem in The New Yorker, it’s there: (1) to break up the page; and (2) as a gesture, a sop to those who associate the idea of poetry with highbrow culture and class.

A Yodeling Fish

Who was real father of country western?

How did this curious hybrid of jazz, blues, hillbilly, and Vaudeville come to pass?

The Collector

My mother didn’t think much of all the “crap” he brought home.

He is old, now, my father. If he were a Toyota Corolla he would have well over 200,000 miles on him and you’d be wondering just how soon the old heap was going to seize ...

The year Edgar Varèse died, Frank Zappa joined a band called the Soul Giants and appended to it “The Mothers of Invention.”

The high school kid from El Cajon

In the mid-1950s a high school kid from El Cajon named Frank Zappa read an article in Look magazine that said Sam Goody was so good at selling records, he could unload a copy of ...