Born in the Midwest in 1936, Kenneth Irby beginning writing at early age, recalling that he wrote his first poem when is was 13 after discovering a translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies in Kansas City.
In 1958 Irby attended Harvard University, from where he received his A.M. degree. While at Harvard, he heard poets such as Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Olson read at a local bookstore, and he began to read Olson’s poetry. Later, while serving in the Army in Albuquerque he met Edward Dorn and, through him, Robert Creeley, poets who would be influential to his own writing.
His first publication was a broadside, The Oregon Trail, in 1964, followed by The Roadrunner Poem the same year. The following year Duende Press in New Mexico issues his Movements/Sequences, with an afterword by Creeley.
His many other books include Relation: Poems 1965-1966 (1971), To Max Douglas (1974), Catalpa (1977), Orexis (1981), A Set (1983), and Call Steps, Plains, Camps, Stations, Consistories (1992). More recent tiles include Antiphonal and Fall to Fall (1994) and Ridge to Ridge: Poems 1990-2000 (2002).
Irby also received an M.L.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and was awarded a Fulbright travel grant as a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen. He teaches at the University of Kansas.
BOOKS OF POETRY
The Oregon Trail (Lawrence, Kansas: Dialogue Press, 1964); The Roadrunner Poem (Placitas, New Mexico: Duende Press, 1964); Kansas-New Mexico (Lawrence, Kansas: Terrence Williams, 1965); Movements/Sequences (Placitas, New Mexico: Duende Press, 1965); The Flower of Having Passed Through Paradise in a Dream: Poems 1967 (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York: Matter Press, 1968); Relation: Poems 1965-1966 (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1970); To Max Douglas (Lawrence, Kansas, Tansy 4/Peg Leg Press Publications, 1971)/enlarged ed (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy/Peg Leg Press, 1974); Archipelago (Willits, California:; Tuumba Press, 1976); In Excelsis Borealis (Cambridge, New York: White Creek Press, 1976); For the Snow Queen (Lawrence, Kansas: 1976); Catalpa (Lawernce, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1977); From Some Etudes (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1978); A Gift for Friends: Summer Solstice 1978 (Los Angeles: privately printed, 1978); Planks Turned to Marble (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1979); Homage to Andrei Bely (Lawrence, Kansas: Helen, 1981); Orexis (Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press, 1981); Riding the Dog (Greensburg, Pennsylvania: The Zelot Press, 1972); A Set (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1983); Two Studies (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1989); Call Steps: Plains, Camps, Stations, Consistories (Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press and Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy press, 1992); Antiphonal and Fall to Fall (Boulder, Colorado: Kavyayantra Press, 1994); Some March Notes, 1995 (Ra’anana, Israel: Oasii Press, 1995); [syzygos] (Sacramento, California: Arcturus Editions, 1999); Ridge to Ridge: Poems 1990-2000 (Ann Arbor, Michigan: OtherWind Press, 2002); The Intent On: Collected Poems 1962-2006 (Berkeley: North Atlantic Boooks, 2009)
To read a poem click here: http://greeninteger.com/pdfs/Irby-poem.pdf