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“Sanders has been an astonishing and fertile presence in our cultural and political landscape… But it is Sanders’s poetry, more than anything else he does, that pulls together all the varied strands of his interests to weave them into the body of one of our century’s most coherent poetics.”—Andrei Codrescu
"THE GLYPH HAS ALWAYS been of great importance to me. For me, a Glyph is a drawing that is charged with literary, emotional, historical or mythic and poetic intensity. [When I was young I was stunned by the Zen rock garden at the Nelson Art Gallery in Kansas City. The rock gardens of Kyoto, when I studied them later in books, seemed like living hieroglyphs. After I came to New York City in 1958, I again was stunned by the Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum. The hieroglyphs on the tomb walls and in the papyri also seemed almost alive.]
When I was in jail writing Poem from Jail in the summer of 1961, [after attempting to swim out and board a Polaris Submarine as an anti-war protest,] I drew Egyptian hieroglyphic study cards, with the hieroglyph on one side, and the English translation on the back. Later, in the fall of 1961, I studied Egyptian at the New School, and one evening I read John Cage's Silence, in which the line breaks and the placing of multiple columns of lines on the same page seemed "glyphic." After that, my poetic life was never the same. The Glyph -- visual elements in poetry -- came to mean what Matisse was seeking when he sat in his wheel chair with long bladed scissors cutting the paper shapes for his cutouts. I began using Glyphs in my poetry, starting in 1962 up to the present." -- Edward Sanders
Poet, activist, musician, and inventor of musical instruments, Ed Sanders, is the author of many books of poetry and prose, including the bestselling Charles Manson exposé, The Family (Da Capo, 2002); the multi-volume epic poem, America: A History in Verse (Black Sparrow Press); and the American Book Award winning Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century: Selected Poems 1961-1985 (Coffee House Press, 2009). In the 1960s, Sanders co-founded the avant-garde rock band the Fugs, opened the Peace Eye Bookstore, and appeared on the cover of Life magazine. From 1962 until 1965, Sanders hand-mimeographed Fuck You/A Magazine of the Arts, whose contributors included: Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Diane Wakosi, Ted Berrigan, and Jackson Mac Low. He published the Woodstock Journal from 1995 to 2003. He lives in Woodstock, New York, with his wife, Miriam.