Gagaku Reader: The Life and Poetry of Steve Richmond
414 pages with an introduction by Kurt Nimmo and two interviews by Ben Pleasants
Kurt Nimmo, Editor
Todd Kalinski, Associate editor
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Steve Richmond, along with friend and mentor Charles Bukowski, dominated the outlaw post mimeo revolution poetry scene of the 1970s and 1980s. He was a friend of the iconic rock star Jim Morrison, who was also a poet. Fiercely independent and poised against the academic literary establishment—what critic Ben Pleasants called the “poetry mafia”—Richmond invented a poetical style influenced by Japanese Shinto court music known as “Gagaku.” Driven by inner demons and fueled by drugs he produced thousands of poems over a thirty year period prior to his death in 2009. Gagaku Reader, the Life and Poetry of Steve Richmond is a selection of his best work.
Steve Richmond was born in Southern California in 1941. He attended U.C.L.A. where he earned a juris doctor degree. After failing to pass the bar, he worked as a rent collector for his family’s properties, many of which were located in Santa Monica where spent most of his life until his death in 2009. He was associated with Charles Bukowksi and other “Meat School” poets including William Wantling and he was a contemporary of poets Robert Creeley and Michael McClure.
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