Saturday, April 30
Winchester Cultural Center
Sunday, May 1
Isaacson will present a workshop, “The Poetry and Thought of Michael McClure” in advance of McClure’s appearance at noon, Saturday, April 9 at Winchester Cultural Center.
These events are free to the public.
In the 1960s, McClure’s play The Beard became a huge cause when it was repeatedly censored in San Francisco and Los Angeles, then moved to New York, where McClure won an Obie Award. Noted playwright Sam Shepard cited that play as an important precursor to his work, which radically transformed the theater in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the early 1970s, McClure’s writing began to popularize the movement to Save the Whales, and his poems and activism have been important to ecology movements ever since. A noted American Buddhist, McClure has written some of the most beautiful and profound poems in that genre. His relation with elders who inspired the San Francisco poetry renaissance, such as Robert Duncan and Charles Olson, has made him a key progenitor of modern writing.
McClure’s research into evolutionary biology, biophysics, neurology and other sciences has done as much as any living writer to draw the link between art and science in profound ways, which are of interest to both artists and scientists. McClure’s work has been cited by a variety of leading scientific thinkers, such as Francis Crick, who received a Nobel Prize for his discovery of DNA.
McClure has also been prominent in the world of rock music. He authored the lyrics to the song “Mercedes Benz,” popularized in the classic performance by Janis Joplin. He worked closely with members of The Doors, including encouraging Jim Morrison to publish his poems and performing extensively with Ray Manzarek, the band’s keyboardist. McClure has also worked with other notable musicians, including jazz bassist Christian McBride and new music composer Terry Riley.
Random Note: National Poetry Month is having its 20th anniversary.
From 1992, Doors' Ray Manzarek and Michael McClure interview and performance on The Dennis Miller Show I YouTube
Poets of National Stature: U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on September 26, 2015 at the campus of Nevada State College in Henderson I YouTube