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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

Beat Farmers, Frank Zappa, Lester Bangs

Birth of the Beat Farmers Jerry Raney: “This guy from El Cajon High named Jack Chan knew how to play, we’d go out and get the Beatles songbooks and go through 'em and he’d teach ...

June 7, 2020
August Kleinzahler's The Strange Hours Travelers Keep

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.

January 1, 2004
A Yodeling Fish

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

October 12, 2000
29 Reader writers on their fathers

To commemorate Father's Day, this issue contains a collection of reflections from Reader writers about their fathers: The Last Tag Sale — Jeanne Schinto An Air of Exoticism — Duncan Shepherd Kinder Than I Would ...

June 15, 2000
The Collector

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 ...

June 15, 2000
The year Edgar Varèse died, Frank Zappa joined a band called the Soul Giants and appended to it “The Mothers of Invention.”

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 ...

September 23, 1999
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