Poetry editor Donald Merriam Allen dead at 92
September 10 2004 12:00 AM ET
Poetry editor Donald Merriam Allen, who helped bring the beat poets and other fringe artists into the mainstream, died on August 29 in San Francisco at the age of 92, according to The New York Times. Allen, who was gay, edited Grove Press's The New American Poetry: 1945-1960, a groundbreaking anthology of 44 notable poets, including such legendary gay bards as Allen Ginsberg and Frank O'Hara. The book drew both praise and scorn upon its publication in 1960 but has endured as a classic literary collection. Allen also translated four plays by Eugene Ionesco and edited collections of writings by O'Hara, Jack Kerouac, Robert Creeley, and many others. He also founded and managed two publishing houses, Grey Fox and Four Seasons Foundation, which published poetry as well as gay and lesbian literature and books on Buddhism and philosophy. He is survived by a sister and by his friend and executor, Michael Williams.