On this day in 2006 we lost Alan Ansen.
Today we celebrate his life and work. Ansen, a graduate of Harvard, was secretary to none other than the great W. H. Auden, who had come to New York City in 1939. He hung out with Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso, and is even written into their works. By the 1960s, he had moved to Greece, where he lived on Alopekis Street in Athens, and hung out with other expatriate poets such as James Merrill (who went on to get the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1977), Chester Kallman (one of Auden’s lovers), and Rachel Hadas (who went on to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship).
Ansen passed away in Athens at the age of eight-four, but leaves behind his poetry and prose. Check out:
I think reading someone’s work is one of the best way to celebrate their life. Do you have a favorite poem by Ansen?