John Giorno

(New York, United States, 1936)
© CCCB, 2006. Autor: SÚnia Balcells.

A poet and performer, he has been a poetry innovator for five decades. In 1965 he founded Giorno Poetry Systems, which explores the use of technology to connect poetry with new kinds of public. He began to work with multimedia and electronic media to create new sound in installations, and integrating poetry into consumer products. His 1968 poem "Dial-A" in the MOMA of New York made contemporary poetry accessible by telephone for millions of people. He worked with Andy Warhol - and was a "star" in his film Film- Robert Rauschenberg, Laurie Anderson, Brion Gysin and John Ashbery, among others. Giorno Poetry Systems has published more than 50 LPs and CDs of poets, along with DVDs and films, inter alia. His ideas have been very influential in more recent poetic trends like Spoken Word and Slam Poetry.

He is well known for his vigorous live performances, which he polished by working with William S. Burroughs in the 1970s and 1980s in rock concerts and art venues around the world. A practising Buddhist since the early 1970s, he has produced a vast body of work with spiritual teachings to be integrated into everyday life. He was one of the pioneers in exploring and openly celebrating queer sexuality in poetry in the 1960s, and his AIDS treatment project initiated in 1984 laid the foundations for direct and sensitive action for AIDS sufferers.

He has written many books of poetry, which have been translated into several languages. His work The Wisdom of the Witches was published in Spanish as La sabiduría de las brujas (2008) and his anthology Subduing Demons in America: The Selected Poems of John Giorno, 1962-2008 will be published in Spain at the end of the year.

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