Ron Padgett

was born in 1942 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  His father was a bootlegger who also traded cars, his mother a housewife who also helped with the bootlegging.  Around the age of 13, he began scribbling his thoughts and poems in spiral notebooks.  In high school he discovered contemporary literature and started a little magazine called The White Dove Review.  In its five issues (1958 –1960) the magazine published Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones, Ted Berrigan, and others. In 1960 he moved to New York City to attend Columbia College where he studied English and Comparative Literature.  During his college years, he published his work in a number of “underground” literary magazines.  In 1965–66 he was able to spend a year in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying and translating 20th – century French literature. which he did for the next nine years.  He served as Director of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project 1978–1980, then took the position of Publications Director at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, the nonprofit organization that specializes in teaching imaginative writing to children. There he edited and wrote books on that subject for 20 years.  His extensive list of publications includes: Poems I Guess I Wrote, (Cuz Editions, 2001); You Never Know, (Coffee House Press, 2002); Oklahoma Tough, (University of Oklahoma, 2003); and How to Be Perfect, (Coffee House Press, 2008).