Best of Boston
1997 Best Poet, Lifetime Achievement
The Poet Laureate of Beacon Hill, the Oracle of Joy Street belongs in the ranks of Boston’s most distinguished literati. His remarkable first book, The Hotel Wentley Poems (1959), made him an overnight star of the Beat generation. He hobnobbed with Ferlinghetti during San Francisco’s late 1950’s Poetry Renaissance, and was a longtime crony of the late Allen Ginsberg. Known as both Genius and Holy Mad Man, he inspired an entire generation of younger poets with his wit and delicate lyricism. This year, after more than a decade of silence, he published a splendid new collection, 707 Scott Street.