John Wieners born 6 January 1934 (d. 2002)
John Wieners, born in Massachusetts, was an American lyric poet.
After graduating from college, in 1958 he moved to San Francisco, associating with painter, Robert LaVigne, poet, Robert Duncan and other writers and bohemians. His first work, The Hotel Wentley Poems, was published in 1958. He soon became a fellow of University at Buffalo and did extensive work with the Poet's Theater, Cambridge he wrote three plays during this time. He published Ace of Pentacles in 1965, Nerves in 1970 and Behind the State Capitol or Cincinnati Pike in 1975.
He was institutionalised several times during his life, largely due to issues with drug and alcohol dependency. He was also involved in the antiwar movement, crusaded against racism, and campaigned for gay liberation and women's rights.
His journals include prose essays devoted to such subjects as his heroin addiction, the abortion of his child by an ex-lover, his homosexuality, the state and purpose of poetry, and the virtues of his numerous friends and mentors.
He was considered a 'Beat' poet, and hit his artistic peak in the mid-1960s.
Wieners died on March 1, 2002 at Massachusetts General Hospital, having collapsed a few days previously after an evening attending a party with his friend and publisher Charley Shively. Kidnap Notes Next, a collection of poems and journal entries edited by Jim Dunn, was published posthumously in 2002.
A Book of Prophecies came out in 2007 from Bootstrap Press. The manuscript was discovered in the Kent State University archive's collection by poet Michael Carr. It was a journal written by Wieners in 1971, and opens with a poem titled 2007.
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