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Ed Sanders

Ed Sanders

(b. 1939)
Born: Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.

Edward Sanders is a poet, historian and musician. In the 1960s he operated the Peace Eye Bookstore in New York City’s East Village, and was the leader of the folk-satire group the Fugs. He was a participant in the Mimeograph Revolution, publishing in the early 1960s, Fuck You: a Magazine of the Arts.

In the early 1970s, he wrote The Family, the harrowing story tracing the “family” of cult leader Charles Manson. Also in the 1970s he wrote "Investigative Poetry," a well-received manifesto encouraging poets to take on the ancient task of writing histories once again. In 1975 appeared Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volume 1, the first installment of a four-volume set of interconnected stories tracing life in the Beat Generation and Counterculture eras of the late 1950s through the 1960s. Other volumes of Tales of Beatnik Glory were published in 1980, 1987, and 2004.

Additional books by Sanders include 1968, a History in Verse; The Poetry and Life of Allen Ginsberg; and Chekhov, a biography in verse of Anton Chekhov. From 1998 till completing it in 2011, he wrote the 9-volume America, a History in Verse. His selected poems, 1986-2008, Let’s Not Keep Fighting the Trojan War, has been published by Coffee House Press.

Da Capo Press published his memoir of the 1960s, Fug You: An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs and Counterculture in the Lower East Side, which won the 2012 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles award.

In 2008, Sanders published Poems for New Orleans, a book and CD on the history of the city and its tribulations during and after Hurricane Katrina. He has been granted a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in verse, an American Book Award for his collected poems, and other awards for his writing.

Sanders lives in Woodstock, New York with his wife, the essayist and painter Miriam Sanders, and both are active in environmental and other social issues. He has a lengthy history as a visitor to Western New York to read his poetry and/or perform with the Fugs.