A reclusive American writer born in 1935, Edson has published 11 books of prose poetry and a novel.

Here's a bit of Edson's take on writing poetry (from his 1975 essay "A Portrait of the Artist as a Fat Man"):

...Growing your own writing without going to the Iowa Writers Workshop, and without sending your work to known poets -- your own garden, your own meditation -- isolation! -- Painful, necessary!... Finally the golden bubble of delight, one is saved by one's own imagination.

One comes to the writing table with one's own hidden life, the secret of the fat man; not dragging Pound's Cantos...

The trouble with most who would write poetry is that they are unwilling to throw their lives away... They are unwilling...

How I hate little constipated lines that are afraid to be anything but correct, without an ounce of humor, that gaiety that death teaches!

What we want is a poetry of miracles -- minus the "I" of ecstasy! A poem that as many people who read it each reads a different poem. A poetry freed from its time. A poetry that engages the Creation, which we believe is still in process, and that it is entirely an imaginative construction, which our creative acts partake of, and are necessary to. We are all helping to imagine the Universe.

Which means a poetry not caught and strangled on particular personalities. A poetry that can see itself beyond its obvious means.

And we wish above all to be thought of as "beneath contempt" by the pompous, those who have stood their shadows over the more talented.

How I despise the celebrity poet!

The Family Monkey is an example of Edson's writing, and on July 20, 1999, NPR's All Things Considered did a segment on Edson which includes recordings of him reading two other works (it's available from their web archive).

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.