I’m really sorry about the way Beat News is turning into an obituary page lately, but I have to report that poet Denise Levertov has died. Born in England in 1923, she was introduced by San Francisco’s literary ringleader Kenneth Rexroth to the Beat crowd that emerged there in the late 50’s. She also became an integral part of the Black Mountain poetry crowd, along with Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, etc.
The book ‘Women of the Beat Generation‘ has some good material on her, especially an account of her confrontation with sexism in San Francisco’s poetry crowd in 1957. Anyway … when it rains it pours, but I’d like to mandate that no more legendary Beat or otherwise worthy counter-cultural figures shall die in the next couple of years. I plan to spend 1998 writing about lots of great new creative literary activities, and *not* looking back. Happy New Year everybody!