“I always had a wild, weird voice,” the poet John Wieners once told an audience in San Francisco. That was 1990, and he was referring to his speaking voice — which he joked Martha Raye had left to him in her will — but he could as well have been accounting for his odd, belatedly lauded place in poetry at that moment.

Wieners, the self-described “Boston poet’ who was raised in Milton and died in 2002 at Mass General, figured estimably into that insta-canonized cadre of Donald Allen’s landmark 1960 anthology, “The New American Poets,” but he never quite achieved the stickiness of his fellow News — John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, Denise Levertov, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley among them. The twin release of “Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners” from Wave Books and “Stars Seen In Person, Selected Journals of John Wieners” from City Lights could restore Wieners to our attention for good, and for better.

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Links:

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