One of America's most unusual and powerful contemporary poets," said the San Francisco Chronicle of this versatile West Coast poet, writer, and painter. Born in Niles, Ohio, Patchen worked in all sorts of jobs before settling in California. In 1957 he pioneered in the "public birth of poetry---jazz" by reading his poems to the accompaniment of the Chamber Jazz Sextet in nightclubs and concert halls on the West Coast, breaking attendance records in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 1954 he received the Shelley Memorial Award. Patchen died in 1972 after a prolonged illness, during which he continued to write prolifically.