Articles

'To find out for yourself'

Maximus at Gloucester High School

Eyes in the polis

Where are you from? Where do you live now? What are your haunts? And what do people say about those places? Does it depend on who you ask? What’s their agenda? Who tells you what it means to be from your hometown or to live where you do? What do you know about these places? And how do you know? And what do you have to say about it?

'The most beautiful and truest'

Collecting the letters of John Wieners

Like many (most?) of us, I fell in love with the poetry of John Wieners the minute I plunged into The Hotel Wentley Poems, its palpable ache and epic scope — I was knocked out by this twenty-four-year-old lyric poet in a rundown hotel making the beyond-audacious declaration that he was “taking away / from God his sound.” I read the poems in rapid succession, then again and again, slower each time.

Beginzone: 'There's Ridgeway Lane forever' (the message)

Before our January 6 interview with poet John Wieners on Beacon Hill, I called up an old friend, Bill Wellington, the night librarian and all around nice guy of the UMass–Dartmouth Library, to find out if he had a message to relay to poet Wieners … the connection is that of two young Beantown beatniks.

'Nor … ever some place else': Wieners in Boston

John Wieners at his last public reading in February 2002 (still from a video by Derek Fenner).

To backtrack to the beginning of Robert Creeley’s preface to John Wieners’s “Cultural Affairs in Boston,” which about sums it up:

The old brick city by the Atlantic

John Wieners's Boston haunts

John Wieners at the Beacon Hill Burger King, 1997. Photo by Jim Dunn.

For almost thirty years, John Wieners lived meagerly and humbly in the same apartment in Beacon Hill; 44 Joy Street, Suite 10 as he called it. Joy Street, originally called Belknap Lane, named after the Colonial Apothecary, Dr. John Joy, with its history of livery stables, was his home. Wieners became somewhat more reclusive in his later years, but he was still a fixture on the streets of Beacon Hill, seen often trudging tragic-comically through the streets with his bag draped around his shoulder, and a cigarette in his hand, carrying himself with a certain muted elegance.