Biography of Ron Padgett
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.
Ron Padgett Poems
Ladies And Gentlemen In Outer Space
Here is my philosophy: Everything changes (the word "everything" has just changed as the word "change" has: it now
The little clock dings the night on the roof. It hurries towerd the mystery of luck.
I'm in the house. It's nice out: warm
Oh God! It's great! to have someone fix you chocolate milk
It's very easy to get. Just keep living and you'll find yourself getting more and more of it. You can keep it or pass it on,
The Love Cook
Let me cook you some dinner. Sit down and take off your shoes
Stairway To The Stars
'And then there were three whereas before there had been four or two
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
Poet as Immortal Bird
A second ago my heart thump went and I thought, “This would be a bad time to have a heart attack and die, in the middle of a poem,' then took comfort
Prose Poem ('The morning coffee.')
The morning coffee. I'm not sure why I drink it. Maybe it's the ritual of the cup, the spoon, the hot water, the milk, and the little heap of brown grit, the way they come together to form a nail I can hang the
How to Be Perfect
Everything is perfect, dear friend. —KEROUAC Get some sleep.
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,