15 January 2014



I delivered a paper at the MLA convention in Boston, on Bunny Lang, saw Gerrit Lansing and Jim Dunn, worked in the archives where Charlotte Armstrong’s papers are kept, held the Bay Psalm Book in my hands, the one whose spine Jack Spicer broke and lost his job over.

Jocelyn and I published two news books at Krupskaya, sold the archive to Buffalo, and then went ahead and made a new commitment to keeping the press going with two new editors, Brandon Brown and Stephanie Young

Poets Theater events included staging Ish Klein’s play “In a Word Faust” with a distinguished cast at Counterpulse.

Shooting Christopher Breu, Christopher Kardambikis, Johnny Drago, Robbie Dewhurst, Ryan Funk, Peter Max Lawrence and Marc Arthur for my project “Tagged.”  Opening of :Eyes on the Prize, my show of photographs at Margaret Tedesco’s 25th Street gallery [2nd floor projects].  Launch of my book, Tagged, with an introduction by Rob Halpern.

Meeting Stewart Home at the Odd Fellows Temple in San Francisco.

Production of “Afterglow,” the play Norma Cole and I wrote in the wake of a string of deaths of beloved Bay Area poets.

Trisha Donnelly show at San Francisco MOMA.

Shooting Jason Jimenez, Ryan Aguilar, Michael Nava, George Herzog, Christopher Fullemann and Brian Bauman, in the spring for “Tagged.”

Excitement of the East Bay Poetry Summit which I experienced mostly from afar, but I was there the day before, and the day after, like bookends, if bookends could feel the vibe of all that stands between them on the shelf?  Who knows, I felt I did.

Playing a pedophile photographer, “Meyer,” in BOYLAND, a film by Gabe Rubin and Felix Bernstein, shot in Inverness, and I got to sleep with CA Conrad there.

Showing my work in Chicago and giving a reading in the kitchen of Night Club, a lovely mix of poetry and art people and students and those further on in life.  I realized how San Francisco I am.

In Ithaca for my niece’s wedding and my two sisters and brother-in-law helped me make my very first video, of our visit to Carl Sagan’s grave.

Giving Tagged slide show at &Now conference in Boulder and seeing old pals like Lynne Tillman in the wet aftermath of flooding, staying at the Boulderado, old haunted hotel of spooky passages and Shining-like endless carpets.

A week or so at Brown University teaching Poets Theater to a very spirited gang of poetry and other students, saw my first snowflakes in many years, visited Lovecraft’s grave, Kit Schluter like Virgil took me to Flying Object in Massachusetts and introduced me to Marcel Schwob.

Twelve straight shows at Right Window, San Francisco’s #1 gallery, and not a dud among them.  We got very lucky this year I think.

The rich surprise of “Supple Science,” surely the book of the year in so many fields, among them disability studies and architecture.

Dodie and I working hard finally after many years of ground work on our anthology of New Narrative writings 1975-1995, and so many geniuses so generous and cooperative.

I’ve left out dozens of other events and excitements of course.  This is becoming one of those Christmas letters my aunt used to send out, on mimeo, tucked into a card, regaling us with the triumphs of her part of the family.  Surely I must have suffered some reverses, but beyond one personal one, and one public one, neither of which I can discuss here, none spring to mind—beyond what we are all living through.  I guess the most tormenting thing is, so many wonderful young poets and artists working today, or trying to work, more surely than any other time I can remember, and what a world we have made for them!

Kevin Killian has written three novels, Shy (1989), Arctic Summer (1997), and Spreadeagle (2012), a book of memoirs called Bedrooms Have Windows (1990), and three books of stories, Little Men (1996), I Cry Like a Baby (2001), and Impossible Princess (2009). He has also written two books of poetry, Argento Series (2001), and Action Kylie (2008). A third will appear in February 2014—Tweaky Village, from Wonder Books. With Lew Ellingham, Killian has written often on the life and work of the American poet Jack Spicer [1925-65] and with Peter Gizzi has edited My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (2008)—which won the American Book Award—for Wesleyan University Press. Wesleyan also brought out Killian and Ellingham’s acclaimed biography Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance in 1998. He is also a playwright who has written forty-five plays for the San Francisco Poets Theater. He teaches writing to MFA students at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

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