120912 Kenneth Rexroth's In The Sierra

Kim Stanley Robinson presents Kenneth Rexroth's In the Sierra, Wednesday, September 12th

Readers will include: Tom Killion, Carter Scholz and Ken Knabb

Kim Stanley Robinson writes:

For me, just to set the stage, the thing to emphasize would be how much Rexroth made Bay Area culture through his work from the 1930s through the 1960s, with his newspaper columns, KPFA shows, literary salons and classes, and political activism.  Of course the main thing was his poetry, which was published mostly by New Directions.  James Laughlin, the publisher of New Directions, was a friend of Rexroth's, and they went to the mountains together, skiing and climbing and camping.  Rexroth serves as one of Laughlin's talent scouts, alerting him to Gary Snyder, William Everson, Denise Levertov, and others.

Rexroth spent a couple months of almost every summer from 1927 to 1967 in the Sierra Nevada, and weekended at a shepherd's shack in Devil's Gulch north of Mount Tamalpais.  This too was part of his impact on California culture.  All his mountain poetry is collected in this new collection In the Sierra, published by New Directions.  The new book also includes Rexroth's prose about the Sierra Nevada from his autobiography, newspaper columns, a camping guide he wrote for the WPA, and correspondence with James Laughlin.

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