Tom Clark (poet)

Last updated

Tom Clark (March 1, 1941 – August 18, 2018, aged 77) was an American poet, editor and biographer. [1]


Education and personal life

Clark was born on the Near West Side of Chicago, and attended Fenwick High School in Oak Park. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan, where he received a Hopwood Award for poetry. He then won a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake graduate study at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in England (1963-5), before spending further time pursuing doctoral research (on the advice of Donald Davie) at the newly-established University of Essex. [2] [3] It was while in Britain that Clark famously hitchhiked through Somerset in the company of Allen Ginsberg. [3]

On March 22, 1968, he married Angelica Heinegg, at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, New York City. [4] As of 2013, he was living in California.


Clark was poetry editor of The Paris Review from 1963 to 1973, and published numerous volumes of poetry with Black Sparrow Press, including a verse biography: Junkets on a Sad Planet: Scenes from the Life of John Keats (1994). His literary essays and reviews appeared in The New York Times , The Times Literary Supplement , Los Angeles Times , San Francisco Chronicle , London Review of Books , and many other journals. Some of his essays on contemporary poetry were collected in The Poetry Beat: Reviewing the Eighties. From 1987 to 2008, he taught poetics at New College of California. [5] [ failed verification ]

Residing in California for the remainder of his life, Clark was an active writer, producing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. In 1991, he published a biography of Charles Olson, one of his poetic mentors, titled Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet’s Life (Norton: 1991).


On the evening of Friday, August 17, 2018, Clark was walking across a street in Berkeley, California, and was hit by a car at about 8:40 p.m. He died on the following day. [6]


Poetry collections

Literary biography


Essays on Poetry

Other books by Clark

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Creeley</span> American poet

Robert White Creeley was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners and Ed Dorn. He served as the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991, he joined colleagues Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Raymond Federman, Robert Bertholf, and Dennis Tedlock in founding the Poetics Program at Buffalo. Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Buffalo, and Providence, where he taught at Brown University. He was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Olson</span> American poet (1910–1970)

Charles Olson was a second generation modern American poet who was a link between earlier figures such as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and the New American poets, which includes the New York School, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Consequently, many postmodern groups, such as the poets of the language school, include Olson as a primary and precedent figure. He described himself not so much as a poet or writer but as "an archeologist of morning."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anne Waldman</span> American poet

Anne Waldman is an American poet. Since the 1960s, Waldman has been an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry community as a writer, performer, collaborator, professor, editor, scholar, and cultural/political activist. She has also been connected to the Beat poets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joanne Kyger</span> American poet

Joanne Kyger was an American poet. The author of over 30 books of poetry and prose, Kyger was associated with the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat Generation, Black Mountain, and the New York School.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Kelly (poet)</span> American poet (born 1935)

Robert Kelly is an American poet associated with the deep image group. He is the 2016-2017 Poet Laureate of Dutchess County, New York.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ed Dorn</span> American poet

Edward Merton Dorn was an American poet and teacher often associated with the Black Mountain poets. His most famous work is Gunslinger.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Whalen</span> American poet

Philip Glenn Whalen was an American poet, Zen Buddhist, and a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance and close to the Beat generation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Palmer (poet)</span> American poet and translator (born 1943)

Michael Palmer is an American poet and translator. He attended Harvard University, where he earned a BA in French and an MA in Comparative Literature. He has worked extensively with Contemporary dance for over thirty years and has collaborated with many composers and visual artists. Palmer has lived in San Francisco since 1969.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gerard Malanga</span> American poet, photographer, filmmaker, actor, curator and archivist

Gerard Joseph Malanga is an American poet, photographer, filmmaker, actor, curator and archivist.

Clayton Eshleman was an American poet, translator, and editor, noted in particular for his translations of César Vallejo and his studies of cave painting and the Paleolithic imagination. Eshleman's work has been awarded with the National Book Award for Translation, the Landon Translation prize from the Academy of American Poets (twice), a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Rockefeller Study Center residency in Bellagio, Italy, among other awards and honors.

Barbara Moraff is an American poet of the Beat generation living in Vermont.

Nathaniel Tarn is a French-American poet, essayist, anthropologist, and translator. He was born in Paris to a French-Romanian mother and a British-Lithuanian father. He lived in Paris until the age of seven, then in Belgium until age 11; when World War II began, the family moved to England. He emigrated to the United States in 1970 and taught at several American universities, primarily Rutgers, where he was a professor from 1972 until 1985. He has lived outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, since his retirement from Rutgers.

Clark Coolidge is an American poet.

Kent Johnson was an American poet, translator, critic, and anthologist. His work, much of it meta-fictional and/or satirical in approach, has provoked a notable measure of controversy and debate within English-language poetry circles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lyn Lifshin</span> American poet and teacher

Lyn Lifshin or Lyn Diane Lipman was an American poet and teacher. Lifshin was “one of the early feminist poets" and one of the most widely published contemporary poets. Her work was autobiographical and explored sexuality, war, and a woman's role in society.

Gloria Frym is an American poet, fiction writer, and essayist.

Bobbie Louise Hawkins was a short story writer, monologist, and poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deborah Meadows</span> American poet

Deborah Meadows is an American poet and playwright and essayist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BlazeVOX Books</span> American publishing company

BlazeVOX Books, often stylized as BlazeVOX [books], is an independent publisher founded by Geoffrey Gatza and based in Buffalo, New York. Since 2000, it has published more than 350 books of poetry and prose, most of which fall within the sphere of avant-garde literature.

Amy King is an American poet, essayist, and activist.


  1. Sandomir, Richard (August 24, 2018). "Tom Clark, 77, Is Dead; Poet, Biographer, Baseball Bard". The New York Times via
  2. 'Tom Clark', . Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  3. 1 2 Tom Clark, 'Letters Home from Cambridge (1963-5)', Jacket Magazine, issue 20, December 2002. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  4. Biographical data on Clark taken from contributor's notes section at The Holiday Album: Greeting Card Poems For All Occasions feature at Jacket magazine, edited by Elaine Equi, with a poem by Clark
  5. Tom Clark Author Page at the Jacket Magazine website
  6. "Pedestrian, 77, dies after driver struck him south of The Alameda crosswalk". Berkeleyside. 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-08-18.