John Barton Wolgamot

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John Barton Wolgamot was an outsider poet who is primarily remembered for his experimental book-length poem "In Sarah, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women." Wolgamot was not a professional writer by any means (he ran a movie theater for a living) but his work captured the imagination of several young poets and critics when the poem was discovered in a second-hand shop in the 1950s by then graduate student Keith Waldrop.

Wolgamot’s status as a cult figure has been enhanced in recent decades by musical compositions by Robert Ashley and Tortoise in which his work, if not celebrated outright, is heavily referenced.

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