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R.I.P. Joanne Kyger

Beat Generation Poet Dies at 82:

“The shape of the day, the words of the moment, what’s happening around me in the world of interior and exterior space — these are my writing concerns,” Ms. Kyger explained in a statement to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York in 2005.

Joanne Kyger, a prolific poet whose works, inspired by natural wonders and Zen Buddhism, distinguished her as one of the few women embraced by the Beat Generation writers’ fraternity, died on March 22 at her home in Bolinas, Calif. She was 82.

The cause was lung cancer, her husband, Donald Guravich, said.

Along with Diane di Prima, Anne Waldman and several others, Ms. Kyger made her mark not only as a writer, but also as a member of the male-dominated post-World War II cultural movement personified by William S. Burroughs, Lucien Carr, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Huncke, Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac.

(It was Kerouac who, to characterize his generation, appropriated the musical term, which he interpreted as nonconformist and upbeat.)

In her “Night Palace,” from 2003, she wrote:

“The best thing about the past
is that it’s over”
When you die.
you wake up
from a dream
that’s your life.
Then you grow up
and get to be post -human
in a past that keeps happening
ahead of you

Source: New York Times obituary