► Ken Irby
Ken Irby (1936 - )
Ken Irby is a Kansas poet who practices projective verse, a form based on physical acts of speechmaking rather than British poetics.
Irby was not a student at Black Mountain, but he has had contacts with Black Mountain poets throughout his career.
This direction in American writing connects to experimental forms now loosely called "Language" poetry.
Ed Dorn, a former visiting professor at the University of Kansas, was a student of Olson and close friend of Irby.
In this elegy, written at Dorn's death, Irby
emotional grief with an image of farm animals in a bare pasture.
The title's season is near solstice, the darkest, most mysterious time of year, and also a time when losses are most sharply seen.
This poem begins with the animals viewed at a distance, as though they are almost beyond sight.
The narrator sees them skewed by the distance-and also perhaps by grief-so that they appear to be performing on hind legs, "a real dog and pony show.
sets this familiar term amongst the more bizarre appearances of the domestic animals.
Just when it seems he
might explain himself and the soundless "musicians at the window," he
shifts from visual images to sounds-the rhyme between "cray" and "they.
Education: Kenneth Irby, born in Bowie, Texas, was raised in Ft. Scott, Kansas.
received an A.M. from Harvard University
and M.L.S. from the University of California-Berkeley.
Career: Irby is an English professor at the University of Kansas.
He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen.
has awards from the Fund for Poetry and the Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry.
books include: Studies (First Intensity Press 2001), Ridge to Ridge (Other Wind Press 2001), Call Steps (Station Hill Press 1992), A Set (Tansy 1983), Orexis (Station Hill Press 1981), Catalpa (Tansy 1972), To Max Douglas (Tansy 1971).
© 2007 Denise Low, AAPP1© Studies: Cuts, Shots Takes, Kenneth Irby
, 2001. © 2007 Denise Low photo.