Kenneth Patchen


Kenneth Patchen, a migrant worker turned poet, became popular in the 1930s with his numerous published books of poetry, prose, and drama. He became especially popular during the late sixties with college students against the Vietnam War because of his antiwar poetry protesting WWII. Poetry, however, was not his only passion. Kenneth expressed himself in a number of other ways including composing and playing music, and painting. He created a number of painted poems like the one featured here. He considered his painted poems to be an extension of his literature.

“It happens that very often my writing with pen is interrupted by my writing with brush, but I think of both as writing,” said Patchen. “In other words, I don’t consider myself a painter. I think of myself as someone who has used the medium of painting in an attempt to extend.”

–Kendall Reasons

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