Andy Clausen was born in a Belgium bomb shelter in 1943, and moved to Oakland, California at age three, at the end of the Second World War. After graduating from high school, he became a Golden Gloves boxer and, for a brief time, joined the Marines, which he left in 1966 after watching Allen Ginsberg on TV read his anti-Vietnam War poem, "Wichita Vortex Sutra."
After Andy began devoting himself to writing, Allen Ginsberg would consistently cite him as one of the most important poets of the next generation. For Clausen’s poetry book, Without Doubt (1991), Ginsberg wrote an introduction which asserted that Andy’s writings “present a genuine authority in America not voiced much in little magazine print, less in newspapers of record, never in political theatrics through Oval Office airwaves.”
Home of the Blues, Andy's second volume of selected poems following 40th Century Man, covers over five decades of his prolific work: from the counterculture and antiwar years of the 1960s right up to the years of progressive promise and frequent disappointment following the historic election of America’s first black president, Barack Obama, a former community organizer.
According to poet Eliot Katz, who wrote an introduction to the collection, "In Andy Clausen’s poetry, empirical perceptions mix inventively with jazzed-up surreal and modernist imagery, the kind of surrealist imagery that the European philosopher, Ernst Bloch, called “anticipatory illuminations,” because the phrasing creates images that don’t yet exist in the actual world, thus pointing towards the possibility of a more humane future."
Home of the Blues (Museum of American Poetics Publications, 2013, 272 pp, pb only) also features a cover portrait of Andy Clausen by Boulder, CO artist Michael Wojczuk and an afterword by Jim Cohn.
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 22 January, 2013.