Kenneth Patchen

1911–1972
Kenneth Patchen

An inspiration for the Beat Generation and a true “people’s poet,” Kenneth Patchen was a prolific writer, visual artist and performer whose exuberant, free-form productions celebrate spontaneity and attack injustices, materialism, and war. Born in Niles, Ohio, he was an avid reader as a child and kept a diary from an early age; later he traveled throughout the United States, meeting a wide range of people and having the experiences he would explore in his prose and poetry. Patchen was also one of the first poets to read his work to a background of jazz.

What People are Saying

"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."
Angelica Sterling
2017 USVI POL Champ