Joanne Kyger

Joanne Kyger
Photo by Andrew Kenower

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Joanne Kyger was born in 1934 and attended Santa Barbara College. One credit short of a degree, she drove up to San Francisco "one day in January 1957 with [her] Siamese Cat." She arrived at the height of the Howl obscenity trial, and a friend introduced her to The Place, the bar that served as headquarters for Jack Spicer and other poets of the San Francisco Renaissance. At the invitation of Joe Dunn and John Wieners she attended the Sunday Meetings lead by Spicer and Robert Duncan and gave her first reading at the Bread and Wine Mission in 1959 before moving to Japan with Gary Snyder. Out of respect for local custom, they married in Japan, living there & also travelling to India (with Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlofsky), events that are chronicled in Kyger's Japan and India Journals 1960-64. Kyger moved back to San Francisco, was divorced from Snyder, published her first book The Tapestry and The Web, travelled in Europe with Jack Boyce, and lived in New York briefly before returning to California. She moved to Bolinas in 1968 where she has since lived, writing poetry, editing the local newspaper, travelling to Mexico, and teaching occassionally at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.


Poetry and Prose-Journals