Coolidge & Cherkovski: In Conversation
Directed by Kyle Harvey
Forthcoming / Post-production
Coolidge & Cherkovski listens in on an intimate conversation between two legendary American poets, Clark Coolidge and Neeli Cherkovski. Swapping personal stories and anecdotes, Coolidge and Cherkovski offer insight into a wide range of topics including The New York School, The San Francisco poetry scene of the 60s/70s/80s, The Language School, The Vancouver Poetry Conference, The Berkeley Poetry Conference, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Charles Olson, Philip Whalen, David Meltzer, Charles Bukowski, Philip Whalen, William de Kooning, Philip Guston and more.
Clark Coolidge is the author of more than forty books, including Space, Solution Passage, The Crystal Text, At Egypt, Now It’s Jazz: Writings on Kerouac & The Sounds, The Act of Providence, and most recently Poet, 88 Sonnets and A Book Beginning What And Ending Away. Connected to both the Language movement and the New York School, his poetry utilizes syntactical and sonic patterns to engage, and generate, meaning. In a 1968 poetics statement, he noted, “Words have a universe of qualities other than those of descriptive relation: Hardness, Density, Sound-Shape, Vector-Force, & Degrees of Transparency/Opacity.” Initially a drummer, he was a member of David Meltzer’s Serpent Power in 1967 and Mix group in 1993–94. Currently he has returned to active drumming with Thurston Moore and the free jazz band Ouroboros.
Neeli Cherkovski is the author of many books of poetry, including Elegy For My Beat Generation (2018), From the Canyon Outward (2009), and The Crow and I (2015). He was the coeditor of Anthology of L.A. Poets (with Charles Bukowski) and Cross-Strokes: Poetry between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Cherkovski also wrote biographies of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Charles Bukowski, as well as the critical memoir Whitman’s Wild Children (1988). His papers are held at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. He has lived in San Francisco since 1974.
Behind the scenes…