More About the Author
At age 22, Michael McClure gave his first poetry reading at the legendary Six Gallery event in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl.
"The role model for Jim Morrison," the L.A.Times characterized McClure, and has found sources in music from Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis to the composer Terry Riley.
McClure worked extensively with his friend Ray Manzarek, the Doors' keyboardist, at festivals, colleges and clubs. Third Mind, a film of Michael and Ray's conversations and performances, was premiered by the Sun Dance Channel.
He has given readings in venues as varied as the Fillmore Ballroom, Yale, Stanford and The National Biodiversity Conference. His audiences have ranged from a dozen at a Maui bookstore, to tens of thousands at San Francisco's Human Be-in in San Francisco, and to multitudes at Airlift Africa.
One of McCure's readings was to, and with, lions at the San Francisco Zoo - a film of it can be seen on his website. McClure's performances include Rome; Paris; Tokyo; London, a bull ring in Mexico City, The Whitney Museum, and a steam room in Nairobi for a group of African businessmen.
A London reviewer wrote, "McClure's West Coast delivery was deliberate, cool, spacious..." The Journal-World in Lawrence Kansas wrote of McClure at the William Burroughs celebration, "McClure looked cool. Yet he grew warm, wending lyrical words around the air and across the hall, the coolness fell away with his simple elegance in word and presentation..."
McClure's songs include "Mercedes Benz," popularized by Janis Joplin.
His awards, include a Guggenheim Felowship, the Obie Award for Best Play, the Alfred Jarry Award, and a Rockefeller grant for playwriting. McClure's plays and musicals are performed in the U.S. and abroad. His play The Beard provoked numerous censorship battles in Los Angeles; the cast was arrested after each performance for fourteen nights in a row. Later The Beard received Obies in N.Y.C. and was embraced in London and Paris. The drama has played a role in U.S. censorship and free speech battles since it won the first lawsuit.
The poet is featured in Scorcese's Last Waltz, in which he recites a poem by Chaucer in Middle English"
McClure created two television documentaries - The Maze and September Blackberries. His books of poetry include Jaguar Skies, Dark Brown, Huge Dreams, Rebel Lions, Mysteriosos, and Of Indigo and Saffron. He has published four collections of essays, which include notes on Bob Dylan and environmental issues. His novels are The Mad Cub and The Adept.
The Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, the L.A. Times and San Francisco Chronicle have published his journalism.
He lives in Oakland 's Bay Area hills with his wife the sculptor Amy Evans McClure.
"McClure's poetry is a blob of protoplasmic energy." - Allen Ginsberg
"Michael McClure shares a place with the great William Blake, with the visionary Shelley, with the passionate D.H. Lawrence..." - Robert Creeley
"What appeals to me most about Michael's poems is the fury and imagery of them..."
discoverer of the DNA double helix - Francis Crick,
"This poetry is soulful freedom at play in the Desire-realm..." - Gary Snyder
"Without McClure's roar there would have been no Sixties." - Dennis Hopper
"One of our best and wisest bard/scholars. McClure's thinking is brave, obdurate, passionate
complex." - Anne Waldman