Clark Coolidge was born in Providence, Rhode Island. Though associated with the Language Poets, his work predates the movement and despite close contact with many of them he remains distinct from any movement, literary or political. His primary literary influences are Rilke, Beckett, and Kerouac, but jazz, geology, and painting also play a large part. This poetic purist shares with many avant-garde artists of the 1950s and 1960s the belief that art is discovery, and so creates an exploratory ‘improvisational momentum’ in its composition which aims to ‘tell the story that has never been thought before’ in a writing which is itself the primary focus, rather than its subject matter. The author of more than 20 books of verse and prose, including Own Face, At Egypt, The Crystal Text, The Maintains, Solution Passage, and Mine: One That Enters the Stories, he is also the editor of Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations (The Documents of Twentieth-Century Art), 2010.