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Kenneth Irby has Kansas connections with both Lawrence and Fort Scott
Kenneth Irby

Kenneth Irby

Kenneth Irby by Denise Low









Kenneth Irby was born in Bowie, Texas, in 1936 and has won many awards for his poetry. Irby grew up in Fort Scott, Kansas, and began writing poetry at the early age of 13.

Irby has degrees from Harvard University, University of California-Berkeley and the University of Kansas. He also was awarded a Fulbright travel grant as a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen. He currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of Kansas and lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

He has lived, worked, served in the U.S. Army, and taught in Colorado, Copenhagen, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Northern California, and the North Pacific.

In 1958, while Irby attended Harvard University, he heard poets such as Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Olson read at a local bookstore, and he began to read Olson’s poetry. Later, while serving in the Army in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he met Edward Dorn and, through him, Robert Creeley, poets who would be influential to his own writing.

His first publication was a broadside, "The Oregon Trail," in 1964, followed by "The Roadrunner Poem" the same year. The following year Duende Press in New Mexico issues his Movements/Sequences, with an afterword by Creeley.

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Published Work  
  • The Intent On: Collected Poems 1962-2006 (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009)
  • Ridge to Ridge: Poems 1990-2000 (Ann Arbor, Michigan: OtherWind Press, 2002)
  • Studies: Cuts, Shots Takes (First Intensity Press, 2001)
  • [syzygos] (Sacramento, California: Arcturus Editions, 1999)
  • Some March Notes, 1995 (Ra’anana, Israel: Oasii Press, 1995)
  • Antiphonal and Fall to Fall (Boulder, Colorado: Kavyayantra Press, 1994)
  • Call Steps: Plains, Camps, Stations, Consistories (Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press and Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy press, 1992)
  • Two Studies (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1989)
  • A Set (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1983)
  • Orexis(Barry town, New York: Station Hill Press, 1981)
  • Homage to Andrei Bely (Lawrence, Kansas: Helen, 1981)
  • Planks Turned to Marble (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1979)
  • A Gift for Friends: Summer Solstice 1978 (Los Angeles: privately printed, 1978)
  • From Some Etudes (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1978)
  • Catalpa (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1977)
  • For the Snow Queen (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy Press, 1976)
  • In Excelsis Borealis (Cambridge, New York: White Creek Press, 1976)
  • Archipelago (Willits, California: Tuumba Press, 1976)
  • To Max Douglas (Lawrence, Kansas, Tansy 4/Peg Leg Press Publications, 1971)/enlarged edition (Lawrence, Kansas: Tansy/Peg Leg Press, 1974)
  • Riding the Dog (Greensburg, Pennsylvania: The Zelot Press, 1972)
  • Relation: Poems 1965-1966 (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1970)
  • The Flower of Having Passed Through Paradise in a Dream: Poems 1967(Annandale-on-Hudson, New York: Matter Press, 1968)
  • Movements/Sequences (Placitas, New Mexico: Duende Press, 1965)
  • Kansas-New Mexico (Lawrence, Kansas: Terrence Williams, 1965)
  • The Roadrunner Poem (Placitas, New Mexico: Duende Press, 1964)
  • The Oregon Trail (Lawrence, Kansas: Dialogue Press, 1964)
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Writing Samples  
  For the Skald

At Dawn

After Sauer

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Visiting Professor and Fulbright travel grant, Univ. of Copenhagen.
Awards from the Fund for Poetry
The Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry
Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, 2010 (shared with Eileen Myles)

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For a large selection of audio readings and video presentations by Irby, chose link:

Author Reviews:

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