Barry Gifford

(1946 / Chicago / United States)

Biography of Barry Gifford

Barry Gifford poet

Barry Gifford (born October 18, 1946) is an American author, poet, and screenwriter known for his distinctive mix of American landscapes and film noir- and Beat Generation-influenced literary madness.
Gifford is best known for his series of novels about Sailor and Lula, two sex-driven, star-crossed protagonists on the road. The first of the series, Wild at Heart, was adapted by director David Lynch for the 1990 film of the same title. Gifford went on to write the screenplay for Lost Highway with Lynch. Perdita Durango was adapted into film by Alex de la Iglesia. Gifford also writes non-fiction.
Gifford was born in a Chicago hotel room in 1946. His father was Jewish and his mother was of Irish Catholic background. Gifford's father was in organized crime, and he spent his childhood largely in Chicago and New Orleans living in hotels. After college he joined the Air Force Reserves. After a short stint pursuing a possible career in baseball, Gifford focused on writing, both as a journalist and a poet.
Gifford's fourth novel, Wild at Heart: The Story of Sailor and Lula, caught the eye of director David Lynch, who adapted it into the screenplay and movie Wild at Heart. The movie won the Palme d'Or, the highest honor, at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990. The success of this film boosted interest in Gifford's novels.

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True Love

Your sickness made me
a little sick, it's
true—I still
feel it
Mayakovsky got down
on his knees
and declared
his love
to his last

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