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Poet, editor, and publisher of the legendary "C" Press, Ted Berrigan was a charismatic presence on the literary scene of New York's Lower East side during the '60s and '70s. "Fiercely unpretentious, intensely self-absorbed, prodigious in his ambition and energy, Berrigan did more than create a substantial body of poetry. He also embodied a spirit that gave meaning to many other writers' lives," writes Ken Tucker shortly after his death. Berrigan was an influential figure in the second generation of New York School poets.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1934, he began three years of service in the Korean War at age 19. He returned to the United States in 1957 and completed his B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma where he met future allies and collaborators Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard. In the early '60s, Berrigan moved to New York City, where he published "C" Magazine and "C" Press Books, wrote art criticism, and collaborated with artists and other poets. Berrigan taught at the St. Mark's Poetry Project and was Writer in Residence at the University of Michigan, University of Iowa, Yale University, SUNY Buffalo, the Naropa Institute, and University of Essex in England. He published more than twenty books before his death in 1983. The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan was published by the University of California Press in 2005.