Ron Padgett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ron Padgett
Born (1942-06-17) June 17, 1942 (age 77)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Occupationpoet, writer
EducationColumbia University, 1964
Notable worksBean Spasms

Ron Padgett (born June 17, 1942, Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American poet, essayist, fiction writer, translator, and a member of the New York School. Bean Spasms, Padgett's first collection of poems, was published in 1967 and written with Ted Berrigan.[1] He won a 2009 Shelley Memorial Award.[2] In 2018, he won a Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Padgett’s father was a bootlegger in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[4] He influenced many of Padgett's works later on, particularly the writer's refusal to obey rules, follow instructions, or even to follow his own emerging patterns.[4] When he was 13, Padgett started writing poetry.[5]

As a 17-year-old high school student, Padgett was interested in visual arts and continued writing poetry. He met and became friends with Joe Brainard, who would also become a leading poet but was also focusing on visual arts at that time.[6] They co-founded the avant-garde literary journal The White Dove Review. Collaborating with fellow Central High students Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard, along with University of Tulsa (TU) student-poet Ted Berrigan, Padgett solicited work for the White Dove from Black Mountain and Beat Movement writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, LeRoi Jones, E. E. Cummings, and Malcolm Cowley. To Padgett's surprise, most of the writers submitted work to the journal. Notably, The White Dove Review printed "The Thrashing Doves" by Jack Kerouac, "My Sad Self (for Frank O'Hara)" by Allen Ginsberg, "Crap and Cauliflower" by Carl Larsen, and "Redhead" by Paul Blackburn, among many others. After five issues, Padgett and his fellow editors retired the White Dove.

In 1960, Padgett left Tulsa for New York, having been drawn to the New York School.[7][8] In an interview he explained that he became interested in Pound, Rimbaud, the Black Mountain poets, and the Beats. In the same year, Padgett studied at Columbia University,[5] where he earned a B.A. in 1964. He later said that he went to Columbia partly because Allen and Kerouac had gone there.[6] He then completed creative writing at Wagner College with Kay Boyle, Howard Nemerov, and Kenneth Koch. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and studied 20th-century French literature in Paris during 1965 and 1966. In 1996, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

Padgett was a poetry workshop instructor at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, New York, NY, from 1968–69 and a poet in various New York City Poets in the Schools programs from 1969-76. He was director of publications for Teachers & Writers Collaborative from around 1982 to 1999. His works on education and writing include The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms (editor), The Teachers & Writers Guide to Walt Whitman (editor), Educating the Imagination (co-editor), and many others. He was also editor of Teachers & Writers Magazine from 1980 to 2000.

Padgett was a cofounder/publisher of Full Court Press, for whom he edited from 1973 to 1988. He has lectured at educational institutions, including Atlantic Center for the Arts and Columbia University. He has also been the host of a poetry radio series and the designer of computer writing games. Several of Padgett's poems, including two written expressly for the film, are featured in Jim Jarmusch's 2016 film Paterson [9].

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Summer Ballons (Tulsa, Oklahoma) 1960.
  • In Advance of the Broken Arm, "C" Press (New York, NY), 1964.
  • Some Things, (With Ted Berrigan and Joe Brainard) (New York, NY) "C" Press, 1964.
  • Two Stories for Andy Warhol, "C" Press (New York, NY), 1965.
  • Sky, Goliard Press (London, UK), 1966.
  • Bean Spasms: Poems and Prose, (With Ted Berrigan) Kulcher Press (New York, NY), 1967.
  • Tone Arm, Once Press, 1967.
  • 100,000 Fleeing Hilda, (With Joe Brainard) Boke, 1967.
  • Bun, (With Tom Clark) Angel Hair Books (New York, NY), 1968.
  • Great Balls of Fire. New York, NY: Holt. 1969.; reprint, revised Coffee House Press, 1990, ISBN 978-0-918273-80-2
  • The Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Ron, (With Jim Dine) Cape Gouliard Press (London, England), 1970.
  • Antlers in the Treetops (with Tom Veitch) Coach House Press (Toronto, Canada), 1970.
  • Sweet Pea, Aloes, 1971.
  • Poetry Collection, Strange Faeces Press (London, England), 1971.
  • Sufferin' Succotash (With Joe Brainard) (bound with Kiss My Ass by Michael Brownstein), Adventures in Poetry, 1971.
  • Back in Boston Again, (With Ted Berrigan and Tom Clark) Telegraph, 1972.
  • Oo La La, (With Jim Dine) Petersburg Press (New York, NY), 1973.
  • Crazy Compositions, Big Sky (Southampton, NY), 1974.
  • The World of Leon, (With others) Big Sky (Southampton, NY), 1974.
  • Toujours l'amour, SUN (New York, NY), 1976.
  • Pullman, Arrive (With George Schneeman) Generations (Paris, France), 1978.
  • Tulsa Kid, Z Press (Calais, VT), 1979.
  • Triangles in the Afternoon, SUN (New York, NY), 1980.
  • How to Be a Woodpecker, (With T. Winkfield) Toothpaste Press (West Branch, IA), 1983.
  • Light as Air, (With Alex Katz) Pace Editions (New York, NY), 1988.
  • The big something. Geoffrey Young. 1989. ISBN 978-0-935724-38-7.
  • New and Selected Poems, David Godine (Boston, MA), 1995.
  • You Never Know. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press. 2001. ISBN 978-1-56689-128-8.
  • How to be perfect. Coffee House Press. 2007. ISBN 978-1-56689-203-2.
  • How Long, Coffee House Press, 2011 ISBN 978-1-56689-256-8
  • Collected Poems, Coffee House Press, 2013
  • Alone and Not Alone, Coffee House Press, 2015
  • Big Cabin, Coffee House Press, 2019




  1. ^ "Ron Padgett",
  2. ^ "About the Author: Ron Padgett," Coffee House Press. Accessed May 31, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Frost Medalists - Poetry Society of America". Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  4. ^ a b ""'It's alright, students, not to write': What Ron Padgett's Poetry Can Teach Us," by Jeremy Over, Writing In Education 71 (2017)". A Collective History of American Poetry and Poetics. 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  5. ^ a b Good Poems for Hard Times. Penguin. 2006-08-29. ISBN 9781440684494.
  6. ^ a b "An Interview with Poet Ron Padgett". Believer Magazine. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  7. ^ Kline, Joshua. The White Dove Review: How a Group of Tulsa Teens Created a Literary Legend This Land Press (2010).
  8. ^ "Ron Padgett: Winner of the 2009 Shelley Memorial Award," Poetry Society of America website. Accessed May 31, 2014.
  9. ^ Lopez, N., "Meet the Poet Behind Adam Driver's New Film Paterson", Town & Country, Dec 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Carolyn Kellogg (April 11, 2014). "Jacket Copy: The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are ..." LA Times. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  11. ^ "Robert Creeley Foundation » Award – Robert Creeley Award". Retrieved 2018-03-22.

External links[edit]