Happy Birthday, Michael McClure, born 20 October 1932
I guess I don’t have any advice I’d give a young writer today except to make sure he or she wanted to write, which is the same advice I would have given twenty or thirty years ago. I think there are a lot of people, there always have been, who are under the illusion that they want to write. As an illusion, that’s okay. But to waste time following the illusion if it’s not coming from a real deep centre could be confusing. And those who are intensely centred don’t need any advice from me.
McClure is an American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. He was one of the five poets (including Allen Ginsberg) who read at the famous San Francisco Six Gallery reading in 1955. This was retold in fictionalized terms in Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums. He became a key member of the Beat Generation and is immortalized as ‘Pat McLear’ in Kerouac’s Big Sur.
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