Ron Padgett

(1942 / Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Biography of Ron Padgett

Ron Padgett poet

Ron Padgett (born June 17, 1942 Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American poet, essayist, fiction writer, translator, and a member of the New York School. Bean Spasms, Padget's first collection of poems, was published in 1967 and written with Ted Berrigan. He won a 2009 Shelley Memorial Award.
As a 17 year-old high school student, he co-founded the avant-garde lit journal The White Dove Review. Collaborating with fellow Central High students Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard, along with University of Tulsa (TU) student-poet Ted Berrigan, Padgett audaciously solicited work for the White Dove from Black Mountain and Beat Movement writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, LeRoi Jones, e.e. cummings, and Malcolm Cowley. To Padgett's surprise, most of the writers submitted work to the journal. Notably, The White Dove Review printed "The Thrashing Doves" by Jack Kerouac, "My Sad Self (for Frank O'Hara)" by Allen Ginsberg, "Crap and Cauliflower" by Carl Larsen, and "Redhead" by Paul Blackburn, among many others. After five issues, Padgett and co. retired the White Dove and fled Tulsa for New York, where they integrated into the New York School.
Padgett received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1964 and studied creative writing at Wagner College with Kay Boyle, Howard Nemerov, and Kenneth Koch. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and studied 20th-century French literature in Paris during 1965 and 1966. In 1996, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
Padgett was a poetry workshop instructor at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, New York, NY, from 1968–69 and a poet in various New York City Poets in the Schools programs from 1969-76. He was director of publications for Teachers & Writers Collaborative from around 1982 to 1999. His works on education and writing include The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms (editor), The Teachers & Writers Guide to Walt Whitman (editor), Educating the Imagination (co-editor), and many others. He was also editor of Teachers & Writers Magazine from 1980 to 2000.
He was a cofounder/publisher of Full Court Press (publisher) and editor from 1973-88. He has lectured at educational institutions, including Atlantic Center for the Arts and Columbia University, He has also been the host of a radio series on poetry and the designer of computer writing games.

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Grasshopper

It's funny when the mind thinks about the psyche,
as if a grasshopper could ponder a helicopter.

It's a bad idea to fall asleep
while flying a helicopter:

when you wake up, the helicopter is gone
and you are too, left behind in a dream,

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