Lew Welch was an American poet associated with the San Francisco Beat poetry movement. Welch published and performed widely during the 1960s and taught poetry at the University of California Extension in San Francisco from 1965 to 1970. He disappeared in 1971, leaving a suicide note behind.
Lew Welch was a brilliant and troubled poet, legendary among his Beat peers. Ring of Bone collects poems, songs, and even a few drawings, documenting the full sweep of his creative output, from his early years until just before his death. This new edition includes a Foreword by Gary Snyder, a biographic timeline, and a statement of poetics gleaned from Welch's own writing.
"Lew Welch writes lyrical poems of clarity, humor, and dark probings . . . jazz musical phrasings of American speech is one of Welch's clearest contributions."
"...Music permeates his poems, which range from scored lyrics to epistolary correspondence to formal villanelles... It's fascinating to trace the evolution of this artist, from his early, lax, exultant style to his later, less jubilant work, characterized by benedictions, invocations, and requests. This is a necessary read for anyone interested in the greater Beat movement and its progenitors."
"His luminous poems feel as vibrant today as when they first burst from the wellsprings of creativity in his own head... A postmodern Walt Whitman. . ."
—San Francisco Chronicle
City Lights Books