Articles

[On Ken Irby]

Kenneth Irby reading in his study.

I have had the peculiar luck of never actually taking a class taught by Ken Irby. In my final semester of undergraduate study, I felt I needed some individual guidance to balance the terrifying prospect of my first graduate-level workshop. I needn’t have worried on that account, but fortune brought us together nevertheless — he as an independent study arbiter, myself as a weekly visitor with maybe an extra page to show for my efforts. That’s how we formally met, but it’s not where I first heard of Irby. That would have been through Cyrus Console and (indirectly) Ben Lerner.

Into friendship and poetry with Kenneth Irby

I’m on the phone with Ken Irby. He’s watching Cat People on TV. He’s narrating bits of the picture:

A Siamese cat has just come out of a box. It doesn’t like her, you see, because she is a cat person.

I search Cat People on the Internet to get a visual. Buried among the millions of YouTube cute cat videos, Jane Randolph swims alone in a hotel pool. Shadows move in catlike shapes above her. A loud purring is heard. Randolph screams. Help arrives. She discovers her robe has been clawed “to ribbons.” She begins to sense all is not as it seems.

October 21, 1964

After all every one is as their                                              1519 48th Ave

January 16, 1963

16 Jan 63[1]

April 17, 1966

Kenneth Irby with son, Daniel.

2009 Rose
Berkeley, Calif.
17 Apr 66[1]

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