Clive Matson fell in with the Beats as a young poet in New York City in the early 1960s, mentored by Allen Ginsberg, Diane DiPrima and Herbert Huncke and influenced by Alden VanBuskirk and John Wieners. He became immersed in the stream of passionate intensity that runs through us all and he has stopped trying to go anywhere else. His first book of poetry, Mainline to the Heart, was published in 1966 by Diane DiPrima and Amiri Baraka’s Poets Press.
After many years of tapping into his unconscious for inspiration, Clive has developed a sense of exactly what the Beats were doing back in the mid-20th Century. He has termed their creative process and its results the Beat Aesthetic and is now teaching about that last literary movement and its impact on the society then and, more importantly, its relevance to today. The zeitgeist of the Beat Generation is needed now in an age very similar to the 1950s and 1960s, with its political upheaval, the threats of climate change, an insistence on conformity and its concomitant resistance to authority beginning to swell. Clive conducts a monthly Saturday workshop on the Beat Aesthetic and will present a university level course at St. Mary's College on the topic next January. Clive will present a paper on the Beat Aesthetic at the European Beat Studies Network Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus in October.
Clive is currently working on his ultimate masterpiece, the long poem Hello, Paradise. Paradise, Goodbye. Over four years in progress, it is currently being read in sections at the monthly First Saturdays with Clive Matson in Alameda California. Parts were initially premiered in a performance reading in 2017 in Paris, France at the EBSN Conference.
He has also completed a sequel to Crazy Child, Writing Your Way In. This is mainly stories from forty years of watching writers blossom with the vibrant intensity they find within themselves, a creative talent they’ve possessed all along. He also has two more volumes of poetry in pre-publication, War Allies and Love Poems: Your Hands Say Breathless Rose.
You can read more about Clive's life and literary production in Wikipedia.
- 2003 - co-edited the Pen Oakland National Award-winning anthology An Eye For An Eye Makes The Whole World Blind.
- 2006 - Best Writing Teacher, East Bay Express.
- 2012 - Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry, The City of Berkeley CA.