Author: Pat Nolan

Pat Nolan was born in Montreal, Canada in 1943, but has lived most of his adult life along the Russian River in Northern California. He is a poet, translator, editor, and publisher.

His poetry and prose have been published in numerous magazines, among them Rolling Stone, The Paris Review, Big Bridge, New Magazine, The American Book Review, Otolith, and Exquisite Corpse as well as in literary magazines in Europe and Asia. His work has also appeared in various anthologies including UP LATE, Thus Spake The Corpse, Out Of This World, and More Poetry Comics.

The Random House Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry and Poems for The Millennium, Vol. I, include his translations from the French Surrealist poet Philippe Soupault. Pygmy Forest Press published a selection of his translations of Soupault’s early work entitled Where The Four Winds Blow in 1993. He was also the editor and publisher of The End, a 70’s literary mimeo magazine. He was the founder of The Black Bart Poetry Society, and co-editor and publisher of its newsletter, Life Of Crime in the 80’s.

He is the author of over a dozen books of poetry. Tangram Press of Berkeley published a limited, letterpress edition of a selection of his tanka entitled Cloud Scatter in 1993. Tangram Press has also published 4 Poems from Exile In Paradise, and a handful poem cards in limited, letterpress edition since then. Fell Swoop Press of New Orleans issued Volume II of The Nolan Anthology of Poetry: The Modern Era in the spring of 2003. More recently, his works have been published in private or limited editions. All are individually sewn in the tradition of the Japanese side stitch book. His tanka selections, Thin Wings (2003) and Untouched By Rain (2005), were published by Empty Head Press. In 2005, Re:issue Press reprinted Fly By Night (Doris Green Editions, 1992). His most recent book, a selection of prose poems, is entitled Intellectual Pretentions (Editions de Jacob, 2009). Ah, Bolinas! A Travel Journal was also published in 2009 by Not My Hat Press in a limited edition with original block prints. Later and Carbon Data were published in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Poltroon Press issued the collected newsletters of The Black Bart Poetry Society, Life Of Crime, Documents In The Guerilla War Against Language Poetry, in the fall of 2009.

Along with Keith Abbott, Maureen Owen, and Michael Sowl, he is a founder member of The Miner School of Haikai Poets whose radical haikai no renga, “All Ears”, was included in Saints Of Hysteria; Half a Century of Collaborative American Poetry (Soft Skull Press, 2007). “All Ears” was originally published as a limited edition chapbook, as were the collaborative haikai no renga “Random Rocks“ and “Poetry For Sale”.

The Archeology of Me & The Red Wheelbarrow School of Poetry

The Archeology of Me

I am ancient
I see from my past

the lame jokes and nervous
giggles before the inevitable

the old wine
drinking red ink

I know myself

to improve is to doubt
the original notion

I like who
I am
            (most of the time)

repetition’s layer building
a mound of telling

the archeology of me
begins with trying to find
something on my desk

defined by scraps of paper
daubed with ink
(artistically of course)

because we conceived of them
we have become like the gods
but now they won’t have
anything to do with us

immune to
the contagions of enthusiasm
a gray morning passes swiftly

I have overstayed
my welcome on the couch

the apple yet to turn
shiny with wet

The Red Wheelbarrow
School of Poetry

In a state of constant
I cross another bridge

wander the house
looking for something

drawer after drawer
room to room
not finding it

only her soft leather
evening gloves
ultimately sensual

the possession of meaning
slips through my fingers