(December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972)
Patchen was born into a poor family in Niles, Ohio. His father, Wayne, worked in the nearby steel mills of Youngstown, which Patchen would reference in his poems “The Orange Bears” and “May I Ask You a Question, Mr. Youngstown Sheet & Tube?”
He studied at the University of Wisconsin and after that he moved to New York City, where, in 1936, he published his first of 40 book of poems, Before the Brave (1936), Poems of Humor and Protest (1960), But Even So (1968) and his last book Wonderings (1971).
In 1967, Patchen was recognized by the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities for “a life-long contribution to American letters.”
Learn more about Kenneth Patchen at:
– Poetry Foundation
– Guide to the Kenneth Patchen Papers (cdlib.org)