All Press Releases for April 01, 2019

Jack Foley Praised for His Contributions to the Arts

Mr. Foley has been a poet for many years, and he enjoyed performing with his late wife, Adelle Foley

Since 1988, Jack Foley has served as the host of "Cover to Cover with Jack Foley," a program on the Berkeley radio station 94.1 KPKA that celebrates the art of poetry

    OAKLAND, CA, April 01, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Jack Foley has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

As a poet, writer, radio host, and former editor-in-chief and literary critic, Jack Foley has enjoyed a prolific career dedicated to the written word. His celebrated work reflects that of a strenuously active intellectual.

For Mr. Foley, who grew up in Port Chester, New York, his awakening to poetry when he was young was similar to "some kind of baptism." He was 15 years old when somebody suggested he read a poem by Thomas Gray; he had long been interested in writing, playing guitar, and writing lyrics, but he didn't think he was all that interested in poetry. However, he went to the library and took out a book of the English poet's works, read one aloud in a local churchyard, and immediately fell in love. He felt as if he knew the poet on a cosmic level, that he was incarnated inside of him. It inspired him to sit down and write his own, completely imitating the poem he had just read, and he was impressed with himself, compelled to get back into the headspace that Gray put him in and create more. The poem he read dealt with the dissolution of boundaries and, although Gray was an 18th-century aristocrat and he was a 20th-century working-class kid, he found echoes of himself in the work in a way he had never experienced before and through the beauty of language he'd never heard before. This pinnacle moment led to his decision to pursue a career in poetry.

In 1963, Mr. Foley earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Cornell University in Ithaca and then continued his education in the same subject at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Master of Arts in 1965 and studied as a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Mr. Foley had met his late wife, Adelle Foley, in 1960 while attending Cornell, and they got married a year later.

In the subsequent years after college, Mr. Foley published several poems and articles, but it wouldn't be until 1985, at 45 years old, that he and his work were noticed in a prominent way. That was the year he had his first poetry reading, alongside Adelle, the first of many "multi-voiced" performance pieces they did together that became an essential, and memorable, aspect of his career. These presentations were made up of combined, sometimes in-unison, voices, overlapping and bouncing off one another to create urgent, frantic, exciting and 'musical' readings of these works.

Mr. Foley was always grateful to Adelle, who passed away from stomach cancer in 2016, because she not only stood by him through the years in which he was a struggling unknown in the field, but believed in his work and never complained.

Starting in 1987 with the publication of his book of poetry "Letters/Lights-Words for Adelle," Mr. Foley entered into a prolific, decades-spanning career as an author, with more than 20 poetry books, books of criticism, stories, and a two-volume Chrono encyclopedia, "Visions & Affiliations: California Poetry 1940-2005," to his name, not to mention several works as an editor and contributor. Some of these titles include "Inciting Big Joy" in 1993; "O Her Blackness Sparkles! The Life and Times of the Batman Art Gallery, San Francisco, 1960-1965" in 1995; "Exiles" in 1996; "Foley's Books: California Rebels, Beats and Radicals" in 2000; "The Dancer and the Dance: A Book of Distinctions" in 2008; and, most recently, "Grief Songs" in 2016. A majority of his poetry books came with corresponding CD's and cassette tapes containing audio of Mr. Foley and his wife performing the works. Together, they also often appeared on television programs.

He was also the co-editor and a contributor of "New Poetry from California: Dead, Requiem" in 1998; editor and a contributor of "The Fallen Western Star Wars" in 2001; and editor of "ALL: A James Broughton Reader" in 2006, among others. He has also been a columnist with the Alsop Review, a poetry zine, since 1998.

Since 1988, Mr. Foley has served as the host of "Cover to Cover with Jack Foley," a program on the Berkeley radio station 94.1 KPKA that celebrates the art of poetry, consisting of interviews and poetry performances. He has served on numerous organizations throughout his career, including the Modern Language Association. He served as program director of PEN Oakland from 1990 and 1997, and secretary of the San Francisco Chapter of the National Poetry Association from 1989 to 1995.

In recognition of his numerous career achievements, Mr. Foley was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Berkeley Poetry Festival in 2010, which the poet considers the highlight of his career. The ceremony involved a poetry reading with Adelle, to whom Mr. Foley said he owed everything. It was as much her day as it was, he later noted. That same year, Berkeley designated a 'Jack Foley Day' in June.

Mr. Foley has experienced a later-in-life career filled with amazing accomplishments. He leaves behind a legacy of passion, intellectualism, determination, and a deep understanding of the world around him as well as those who inhabit it.

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