Neeli Cherkovski

Neeli Cherkovski (Santa Monica, CA, 1945)  is an applauded poet, critic, memoirist and literary biographer. He spent his earliest years in Los Angeles then his family moved near to San Bernardino. While in high school Neeli edited The Black Cat Review, a poetry journal and began to publish in small literay magazines around the country. He attended California State University at Los Angeles and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 1974 Neeli moved to San Francisco and beecame invovled in the North Beach literary community. He has written twelve books of poetry, including: Public Notice (1975), The Waters Reborn (1975), Love Proof (1980), Juggler Within (1983) and later, Animal (1996), Elegy for Bob Kaufman (1996), the award winning Leaning Against Time (2004) and From the Canyon Outward (2009). In the early 70s he co-edited the literary magazine Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns with Charles Bukowski, and with Bukowski and Paul Vangelisti, The Anthology of L.A. Poets. He has written two acclaimed biographies, Ferlinghetti: A Biography (1979) and Bukowski: A Life (1997); his book, Whitman’s Wild Children (a collection of critical memoirs), has become an underground classic. Since 1975, Neeli has lived and worked in San Francisco. For five years he was Writer-in-Residence at New College of California, where he taught literature and philosophy. In 2005 Cherkovski won the Pen Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award.  He is also a Friends of the SF Public Library Literary Laureate. Currently Neeli is completing an as yet untitled memoir of his life in poetry, a collection of poems on his travels in the Philippines, and a selected poems. He teaches in The Floating University, offering courses in poetics, along with David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg.

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