Monday, November 30, 2009

Andy Clausen





Andy Clausen & Allen met in Berkeley in 1968 and the two fast became friends. Allen was a huge fan of his poetic style and did what he could to get him published. Clausen was often a guest at Naropa as well as for Allen's Brooklyn College courses in the 80s and 90s. Some of his titles include 40th Century Man Selected Verse: 1996-1966 (Autonomedia) Without Doubt (Zeitgeist Press 1991), and Poems for the Nation: A Collection of Contemporary Political Poems (7 Stories Press, 1997) which he co-edited with Eliot Katz and Allen Ginsberg.

In Allen's own words, "Andy Clausen's character voice is heroic, a vox populi of the democratic unconscious, a "divine average" thinking workman persona. As "one of the rough," a Whitmanic laborer, precisely a union hodcarrier longstanding, his bardic populism's grounded on long years' painful sturdy experience earning family bread by the sweat of his brow. His comments on the enthusiastic sixties, defensive seventies, unjust eighties, and bullying nineties present a genuine authority in America not voiced much in little magazine print, less in newspapers of record, never in political theatrics through Oval Office airwaves. The expensive bullshit of government TV poetics suffers diminution of credibility placed side by side with Mr. Clausen's direct information and sad raw insight. Would he were, I'd take my chance on a President Clausen!" (Allen Ginsberg, Deliberate Prose Selected Essays 1952-1995 Harper Collins 2000)

Andy Clausen on Vladimir Mayakovsky at Naropa, August 1980 >>
Andy Clausen Reading with Philip Whalen and Anselm Hollo at Naropa, July 1980 >>

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