Kenneth Rexroth and Barcelona by the Bay

“By the time 22-year-old Kenneth Rexroth arrived in San Francisco in 1927, he had already developed a career as a professional bohemian and radical. Orphaned at a young age, he’d been living happily among the seedier elements of Chicago’s underground as a modernist painter, stage performer and poet, and using his natural born oratorical skills to soapbox for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Rexroth and his new wife, Andree, had arrived in San Francisco penniless and with no contacts whatsoever. … Rexroth’s home at 250 Scott Street, above Jack’s Record Cellar, became a magnet for this rapidly spreading mood of disaffection from American society, as all sorts of poets, artists, radicals, and notably conscientious objectors began to find each other and develop a common language and lifestyle in the Bay Area. … Eventually, Rexroth came to be regarded as something of a San Francisco institution. Out of the community that gathered around him developed several magazines, a left-wing community radio station (KPFA, the first listener-sponsored station in the U.S.), and, of course, the San Francisco Renaissance. By the 1950s the loose-knit crowd of anti-authoritarian intellectuals Rexroth had done so much to bring together began to gel into a genuine movement, embodying most of the themes Rexroth had been writing about for the past three decades: Contempt for the academic and political establishment, intimate familiarity with Eastern (particularly Buddhist) philosophy and literature, and celebration of urban life combined with a profound appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Writers who were associated with the San Francisco Renaissance (also known affectionately as the ‘bear-shit-on-the-trail’ school of poetry) included Phillip Whalen, Phillip Lamantia, Michael McClure and Gary Snyder. …”
The Indiana History Blog – Kenneth Rexroth: Poet, Pacifist, Radical, and Reluctant Father of the Beat Generation
The Indiana History Blog – The Midwestern Making of Kenneth Rexroth: Robbing Cash Registers and Reading the Classics
Kenneth Rexroth Archive
W – Kenneth Rexroth
YouTube: In The Wood, Married Blues

Literary salon at Rexroth’s, Feb. 5, 1957 (l to r): Ida Hodes, Eva Triem, unidentified woman, Jack Spicer, James Broughton, Philip Lamantia, Ariel Parkinson, William Everson, Kenneth Rexroth reading.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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