About the Author
Madeline Gleason (1903-1979)
Born in Fargo, North Dakota, the only child of Catholic parents, she moved to the West Coast with her father after her mother's death. Gleason lived in San Francisco from the 1920s until her death in 1979. Gleason was the founder of the San Francisco Poetry Guild and, in 1947, she directed the first poetry festival in the country, held in San Francisco. A key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance, Madeline Gleason is among the principal poets in the history of women's writing. Associated early in her career with Robert Duncan and James Broughton, she was also much respected by the Beats, and she was one of only four women whose work was included in Donald Allen's landmark anthology, The New American Poetry (1960).
Her final book of poetry, Collected Poems: 1944-1979, was published by her friends in Fargo after her death. It contained her five volumes of poems and three manuscript poems written in San Francisco. Click here to listen to five of Gleason's poems being read aloud.
The Metaphysical Needle (1949)
Concerto for Bell and Telephone (1966)
Selected Poems (1972)
Here Comes Everybody: New & Selected Poems (Panjandrum Press, 1975)
Collected Poems: 1944-1979 (published posthumously in 1983; rep., 1999, Talisman House)
Originally published in 1983 and out of print, Gleason's Collected Poems was republished in 1999 by Talisman House. The book includes, in addition to Gleason's six published books, her work left in manuscript at her death, and two essays by her on poetics. Edited and with a preface by Christopher Wagstaff.
"Here is a true born poet, of which there are always too few: a poet who cannot help thinking poetically and singing out of herself."--James Broughton.
"In her own works she created a transition from the passional poetry close to Yeats as a master to an exuberant individual creation swinging in an ambit that could include Mother Goose and, long before 'Pop Art,' the voices of individual America"