Partner Joe Brainard
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
Poet's Corner, Calais, VT 05648, Stati Uniti
Kenward Gray Elmslie (born April 27, 1929) is an American writer, performer, editor and publisher associated with the New York School of poetry.
Born in New York City, Elmslie, a grandson of publisher Joseph Pulitzer, spent his childhood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, prepped at the St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1950 with a B.A. in literature. He began his career collaborating with composers on operas and musicals in an attempt to bring a contemporary style to classical theater. Among his theatrical works are The Grass Harp and Lola,, both projects in collaboration with Claibe Richardson.
His poetry and prose is often combined with the graphical work of other artists. A collection of his writing, Motor Disturbance (1971), won the Frank O'Hara Award for Poetry in 1971. He was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts Award for Power Plant Sestina (1967) and the Ford Foundation Grant.
In 1973 Elmslie began work as editor and publisher of Z Magazine and Z Press,, working to promote the work of other New York School artists such as John Ashbery, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, and perhaps most extensively, Joe Brainard. Elmslie’s work with graphic artists such as Brainard combined poetry with art to emphasis their interconnectedness; his work in theatre demonstrates his commitment to art as a whole, not only to one medium. Poet Alice Notley says of Elmslie’s Routine Disruptions (1998), “this is an icon, for me, of Elmslie’s work, its wild funniness, theatricality, brazenness, its love of art and objects”.