The PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) was created by Green Integer and its publisher, Douglas Messerli, in 2000. The Project publishes regular anthologies of major international poets and actively archives biographies of poets and listings of their titles.
Born in New York City, Michael Palmer received his B.A. at Harvard University, where he edited the small magazine Joglars with fellow poet Clark Coolidge.
In 1963 he attended the famed Vancouver Poetry Conference which consisted of three weeks of workshops, readings, and discussions. At that Conference Palmer met and became friends with Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and other major figures who would be central to Palmer's writing.
In 1969 Palmer moved to San Francisco, where he continues to live today. He was contributing editor to the magazine Fracture and worked closely with several choreographers, dance companies and visual artists, including Margaret Jenkins. Michaëla Henich, Sandro Chia, Gerhard Richter, Irving Petlin, and Augusta Talbot.
In 1971 he published his first book of poetry, Plan of the City of O; and over the next decade numerous books followed, Blake's Newton, C's Songs, Six Poems, The Circular Gates, Poems, Without Music, Alogon, Transparency of the Mirror, Notes for Echo Lake and First Figure. Since those earlier years Palmer has continued to publish major works in Sun, At Passages, The Lion Bridge, and Promises of Glass.
Palmer's poetry has often been associated with the "Language" poets, a relationship he admits occurred early on with his friendships with the San Francisco "Language" writers. But he admits some hesitations: "My own hesitancy comes when you try to create, let's say, a fixed theoretical matrix and begin to work from an ideology of prohibitions about expressivity and the self—there I depart quite dramatically from a few of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets."
Palmer's work also shows strong influences from contemporary French writers, and he has translated poets from the French, Russian, and Portuguese—Arthur Rimbaud, Emmanuel Hocquard, and Alexei Parshchikov. Palmer was one of the editors of the Brazilian anthology, first published by Sun & Moon and later reprinted by Green Integer: Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain: 20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets (1997, 2003).
Palmer has also written radio plays, essays, and a short travel journal, The Danish Notebook.
He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the American Award for Poetry, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America.
BOOKS OF POETRY
Plan of the City of O (Boston: Barn Dreams Press, 1971); Blake's Newton (Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1971); C's Songs (Berkeley, California: San Dollar Books, 1973); Six Poems (Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1973); The Circular Gates (Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1974); Poems (Berkeley, California: San Dollar Books, 1976); Without Music (Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1977); Alogon (Berkeley, California: Tuumba Press, 1980); Transparency of the Mirror (Albany, California: Little Dinosaur Press, 1980); Notes for Echo Lake (Berkeley, California: North Point Press, 1981); First Figure (Berkeley, California: North Point Press, 1984); Songs for Sarah (Annisquam, Massachusetts: Lobster Cove Editions, 1987); For a Reading (New York: DIA Art Foundation, 1988); Sun (Berkeley, California: North Point Press, 1988); An Alphabet Undergroud (Viborg, Denmark: After Hand, 1993); At Passages (New York: New Directions, 1995); The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995 (New York: New Directions, 1998); The Promises of Glass (New York: New Directions, 2000); Codes Appearing: Poems 1979-1988 (New York: New Directions, 2001); Company of Moths (New York: New Directions, 2005); The Counter-Sky ([selected poems translated by Koichiro Yamauchi] Meltemia Press, 2007); Aygi Cycle ([poems inspired by the Russian poet Gennadiy Aygi] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2009); Thread (New York: New Directions, 2011); The
Laughter of the Sphinx (New York: New Directions, 2016); Little Elegies for Sister Satan (New York: New Directions, 2021)
Numerous poems, with Palmer reading, are available from PENNSound at the link below: