Al Young title

Jack Foley’s VISIONS & AFFILIATIONS: A California Time Line | Poets & Poetry 1940-2005



British poet Geraldine Green reads with
Jack & Adelle Foley
Saturday, September 10  at 7 p.m.

Laurel Bookstore
4100 MacArthur Blvd
(between 39th Ave & Maybelle Ave)
Oakland, CA 94619   MAP & DIRECTIONS

© Matthew Sumner/SF Chronicle

Jack Foley, 71, took a decade to write his 1,300-page book, Visions & Affiliations, covering 65 years of California poets and poetry.
• Read Evan Karp’s Datebook article in the San Francisco Chronicle (“A Rich Chapter in Bay Area Poetry Scene,” August 20, 2011)

Jack Foley in conversation with Nina Serrano at Pacifica Radio July 2011
Jack Foley and Cesar Love read at San Francisco Open Mic Poetry Podcasts July 2011


Mary Ann Sullivan’s review in The Tower Journal

Digital poet and editor Mary Ann Sullivan’s “The First Poem of Summer”

Charles Baudelaire’s “Invitation” (translated and read by Jack Foley; produced, directed and shot by Mary Ann Sullivan)


Out from Pantograph Press
Now available at Amazon

© Matthew Sumner

Cover Painting: Mark Roland | Design: Stuart Bradford

Jack Foley’s


A California Literary Time Line: Poets & Poetry

“The twentieth century in all its confused and troubled eloquence”

Volume 1 • 1940-1980 • 575 pages • $50 U.S.
ISBN 978-1-61364-067-8
Volume 2 • 1980-2005 • 711 pages • $50 U.S.
ISBN 978-1-61364-068-5

“From about 1930 on, a conspiracy of bad poetry has been as carefully organized as the Communist Party, and today controls most channels of publication except the littlest of the little magazines … We disaffiliate.”
Kenneth Rexroth

“Jack Foley is doing great things in articulating the poetic consciousness of San Francisco.”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“I’m just sitting here overwhelmed, overwhelmed by the achievement of the two-volume Visions & Affiliations …This is an extraordinary piece of work. There should be a major, major review of this. Congratulations. What an achievement.”
Kevin Starr, Historian and California State Librarian Emeritus

“This is absolutely stunning, overwhelming … so much so that I hardly know where to begin or how to end … probably never. I expect that I’ll continue to pore through this for years to come.”
Jerome Rothenberg

“The books are overwhelming! What a great time line and fabulous encyclopedia. I really am learning so much. A great read and great information. I don’t know how you did it. Your enthusiasm and first-hand knowledge show on every page.”
Marjorie Perloff

“Visions and Affiliations is a landmark in literary studies. It is Jack Foley’s own life as a poet that makes this project stand out. In the two volumes of Visions and Affiliations, he digs deep, illuminating little known facts about such poets as Kenneth Rexroth, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Charles Bukowski, while, at the same time, giving us ‘hidden histories’ from across California. An innovative voice in American poetry, Foley now emerges as an innovator as to how we respond to our literary heritage. This book is essential reading for poets, readers of poetry and anyone interested in our cultural legacy.”
Neeli Cherkovski

“This brilliant, idiosyncratic, omnivorous study is simply the best book ever written on West Coast poetry.”
Dana Gioia, The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A lasting contribution. With its deep and caring perspective, Jack Foley’s two-volume opus projects a passionate message about the poetry of our state.”
Al Young, California Poet Laureate (2005-2008)


VISIONS & AFFILIATIONS: A California Time Line — Poets & Poetry 1940-2005 is a chronoencyclopedia of a scene that stretches over sixty-five years. People, ideas, and stories appear, disappear, and reappear as the second half of the century moves forward. Poetry is a major element in this kaleidoscopic California scene. It is argued about, dismissed, renewed, denounced in theory, asserted as divine, criticized as pornographic. Poetry is as Western as the Sierra foothills, and the questions raised here go to its very heart. Beginning with the publication of Kenneth Rexroth’s first book, this all-encompassing history-as-collage plunges us forward into the 21st century. “California authors keep generating massive anthologies in an attempt to tame the chaos of California, to pretend it isn’t there. Yet there it is–staring them in the face like a great bear, alive, hungry and more than a little dangerous.”


Berkeley Book Launch:
Thursday July 14 (Bastille Day)

There will be a book launch reading for Jack Foley’s Visions & Affiliations at Moe’s Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, at 7: 30 on Bastille Day (Thursday, July 14). Adelle and Jack Foley will host. Guests will include poet/publisher Ivan Argüelles, Mary-Marcia Casoly, Lucille Lang Day, Katherine Hastings, Andrew Joron, Michael McClure and Al Young. There will also be a musical saw played by Diana McCulloch.



Photo: Adelle Foley

jake berry’s cat
contemplates the real
history of calif
ornia poetry oh
jake berry’s cat
looks it over oh
gives it a gander
is it his saucer of milk
or not?
jake berry’s cat
knows a lot
living as he does
familiarly w/ jake
gives it a look
gives it a gander
whoa—is that there—
in Florence, Alabama
on a day that resembles
this day in calif
jake berry’s cat
contemplates the real
history of calif poetry
mrkgnao! *

click for luck


* J. Joyce‘s spelling of “meow”


2 Responses to “Jack Foley’s VISIONS & AFFILIATIONS: A California Time Line | Poets & Poetry 1940-2005”

  1. Jeffrey Lilly Says:

    Jack Foley’s work has been a monumental labor of love. Foley lives, breathes and speaks poetry, and, in his presence, one hears a stream of consciousness world of poetry beautifully expressed. Now he has recorded selections from his vast quest for excellent California poetry published over the last six decades of the 20th century and reaching up to 2005. I’m overwhelmed, but grateful.

  2. David Macon Says:

    Jack Foley amazes me. I have met poets, writers and others, but none equal Jack.

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