Joanne Kyger

(19 November 1934)

Joanne Kyger
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Joanne Kyger is an American poet. Her poetry is influenced by her practice of Zen Buddhism and her ties to the poets of Black Mountain, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the Beat generation.


Kyger studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before moving to San Francisco, in 1957, and becoming involved with the poetry scene around Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan.

In 1960 she joined Gary Snyder (whom she had met in San Francisco in 1958) in Japan. They were married on February 28, immediately after her arrival. She later travelled to India with Snyder, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, where she met with the Dalai Lama. She returned to the... more »

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Best Poem of Joanne Kyger

Night Palace

'The best thing about the past

is that it's over'

when you die.

you wake up

from the dream

that's your life.

Then you grow up

and get to be post human

in a past that keeps happening

ahead of you


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