I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.Jack KerouacClick anywhere
Philip Lamantia (October 23, 1927 – March 7, 2005) was an American poet and lecturer. Lamantia's visionary poems are ecstatic, terror-filled, and erotic, exploring the subconscious world of dreams and linking it to the experience of daily life.
The poet was born in San Francisco to Sicilian immigrants and raised in that city's Excelsior neighborhood. His poetry was first published in the magazine View in 1943, when he was fifteen and in the final issue of the Surrealist magazine VVV the following year. In 1944 he dropped out of Balboa High School to pursue poetry in New York City.1 He returned to the Bay Area in 1945 and his first book, Erotic Poems, was published a year later.
Lamantia was one of the post World War II poets now sometimes referred to as the San Francisco Renaissance, and later became involved with the San Francisco Beat Generation poets and the Surrealist Movement in the United States. He was on the bill at San Francisco's Six Gallery on October 7, 1955, when poet Allen Ginsberg read his poem Howl for the first time. At this event Lamantia chose to read the poems of John Hoffman, a friend who had recently died. Hoffman's poetry collection Journey to the End (which includes the poems that Lamantia read at the Six Gallery) was published by City Lights in 2008, bound together with Lamantia's own Tau, a poem-cycle also dating from the mid-fifties.