December 27, 2007

Vincent Ferrini, 1913 - 2007

[Vincent Ferrini at a reading in Gloucester, MA, July 1992.]

The poet of Gloucester, Vincent Ferrini died on Christmas eve; he was 94. He published more than 30 volumes of poetry -- quirky, idiosyncratic, & working class, he was a well-known figure in Gloucester art & politics. As a friend of Charles Olson, Ferrini "invoked" the first of the Maximus Poems, particularly Letter 5 from April 1953, but indeed Ferrini is mentioned in all 3 of the Maximus volumes.

You can read about him in the Gloucester Daily Times at

I had the privilege of hearing Vincent read in Gloucester & also saw him in the audience at a number of occasions on different visits there. Tucked into some of my volumes of his poems are a couple of letters, from 1992 & 1994, in which he graciously thanks me for poems & photos I had sent him. Vincent's nephew Henry has made a wonderful documentary film that has been shown on PBS about Vincent & "his" Gloucester.

"The mind, Ferrini,
is as much of a labor
as to lift an arm
(Charles Olson)

"As the keel of a
boat is submerged in Water
so are we in death."
-- Vincent Ferrini