California writer, Dana Gioia, takes a look at poetry in California in the new BBC radio special, “After the Goldrush.”
California is the richest, most populous state in America. An economic and technical powerhouse it has also been the engine of artistic development, especially in poetry. The Beats of the 1950s spring to mind – Allen Ginsberg first read ‘Howl’ in San Francisco. Since then many radical ideas pioneered in California have become familiar – Environmentalism, Gay Liberation, the personal computer.
In ‘After the Gold Rush’ Dana Gioia traces how these are reflected in California’s poetry….
He finds that recent developments owe much to what went before, before the Beats, right back to the Gold Rush of the 19th century. People still come to get rich but San Francisco is now one of the most competitive places in the world and no one comes to drop out.
The broadcast features poems from Oakland-based poet Kim Addonizio, Francisco X. Alcaron, and California’s Poet Laureate Emeritus, Al Young, as well as interviews with California historian Kevin Starr and Dan Stone who recently started the magazine Radio Silence, based in San Francisco.
Give a listen here.