Patchen, Kenneth, 1911–72, American poet and novelist, b. Niles, Ohio. His writings, characterized by complete freedom of form, embrace genres as diverse as satire, fantasy, and metaphysical love poetry. His early verse— Before the Brave (1936) and First Will & Testament (1939)—places him with the social protest writers of the '30s. Among his many later collections are Red Wine & Yellow Hair (1949), Because It Is (1960), and Hallelujah Anyway (1967). During the 1950s he initiated the practice of reading poetry to a jazz accompaniment. His prose works include The Journal of Albion Moonlight (1941) and the satirical Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer (1945). Many of his works are illustrated by his own drawings.
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