Saturday Mar 25

Over long distance drinks one night our web designer John Turi and I were trying to decide what our next column offering would be.
A little baked and sentimental, we kept coming back to the idea that there are a few artists out there responsible for either teaching us or teaching our teachers or teaching our teacher’s teachers; women and men that have spent their lives not only producing astonishing and ground-breaking art, but sharing what they know with those interested in learning. We thought of a lot of folks, like Professor Stephen Minot at UCR for instance, but John & I spent a lot of our formative years living in Long Beach, California so there was only one Emeritus Professor we thought of first and foremost: Gerald Locklin.

Long Beach has a few institutions: The Pike (a beach-boardwalk amusement park), Fenders Ballroom (an original juke joint that had guys like Waylon Jennings playing there before he could grow a beard), the Los Angeles harbor, Charles Bukowski, and Gerald Locklin. The Pike was demolished in 1979, Fenders eventually gave way to townhouses, the water in the LA Harbor has less than a foot of visibility, Charles Bukowski moved on to the place where editors like me can’t piss him off, but Gerald Locklin is still going strong. Still a vital force to be reckoned with, Professor Locklin, Gerry, the Toad, with thousands of published artistic endeavors, is still teaching, writing, performing, and doing what he’s done for well over 50 years—showing us all what is possible with the right attitude and dedication to the art, and maybe a pint or two.

Turi and I could imagine few we’d want more for our first Emeritus Artist than Gerald Locklin. Gracious and accommodating as the legend that precedes him professes, he invited us to come to the Annual Poetry Reading at the Ocean Park Methodist Episcopal Church in Santa Monica (started by Bukowski’s baby-mama, Farnc Eye, many years ago) to tape his reading.
Our eternal thanks go out to a very svelte Professor Gerald Locklin for everything he has done and continues to do for those of us that love art and those that love it enough to want to learn from a master—whether we made it to college or not.
Gerald Locklin is now a Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California and a Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught from 1965 through 2007.  He is the author of over 125 books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and criticism, with over 3000 poems, stories, articles, reviews, and interviews published in periodicals. 

His most recent books and chapbooks include The Cezanne/Pissarro Poems and the forthcoming Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems, from World Parade Books; New Orleans, Chicago, and Points Elsewhere, from R)v Press; Wedlock Sunday and Other Poems (Liquid Paper Press/Nerve Cowboy Magazine); The Hotel Ristorante (Bottle of Smoke Press) and The San Antonio, Savannah, and Daytona Beach Poems (Pitchfork Press). His full-length books from Water Row Press include Candy Bars:  Selected Stories; The Life Force Poems; Go West, Young Toad:  Selected Writings; The Pocket Book:  A Novella and Nineteen Short Fictions; and Charles Bukowski:  A Sure Bet.   An Italian edition of his novel Down and Out (Event Horizon Press) has been published by Leconte Publishers in Rome as Piu Morto che Vivo, as well as Charles Bukowski:  A Botte Sicuro. Other titles from EH include The Firebird Poems; Three Mid-Century Tales; Hemingway Colloquium:  The Poet Goes to Cuba; and The First Time He Saw Paris (in Two Novellas, with Donna Hilbert).  A series of annual dos-a-dos jazz chapbooks, with Mark Weber, are available from Zerx Press (Albuquerque, NM), most recently Thank You, Dave:  A Brubeck Tribute.

His writings are archived and indexed by the Special Collections of the CSULB library.  Many early and rare works are available from Water Row Books,,,, and on eBay and other sites.  He has resumed (with his son, Zachary Locklin) co-editing the poetry for the Chiron Review and will serve as fiction editor of Shaya magazine.

He is listed in the usual literary directories.  He publishes regularly in 5:00 AM, Ambit (London), Tears in the Fence (Dorset), Poetry International, New York Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Slipstream, Freefall, Coagula Art Journal, and many other periodicals.  He is available for readings, workshops, festivals.
MichaelFord.jpg A legendary voice on the LA poetry scene, MICHAEL C. FORD has produced a steady stream of print and recorded product since 1970.
We would expect nothing less of a Gerald Locklin introduction by Michael C. Ford. Enjoy!