Lewis MacAdams (1944-2020)

Lewis MacAdams (1944-2020)

One day before Earth Day, one of the great poet eco-activists, Lewis Macadams, (famed crusader for the Los Angeles River), died, we learn, peacefully, from complications from Parkinson’s. He was 75

His obituary in the LA Times is here

Adrian Cargill for KPCC (back in 2016, on the occasion of his announcing his retirement from the River Project) profiles him here

An early poetic genius, a Princetonian, City Money (1966), his first book, inaugerated an extraordinary writing life. Among his collections, The Poetry Room (1971), News from Niman Farm (1976), Africa and the Marriage of Walt Whitman and Marilyn Monroe (1982),

The River, Books One, Two, and Three, his sequence of poems on The River Project, was published by Kevin Opstedal’s  Blue Press (revised edition 2007)

Two poems from The River – here

Dear Oxygen, New and Selected Poems 1966-2011 was published in 2011 by the University of New Orleans Press

He was the author also of the cultural history,  (Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant-Garde (published by the Free Press in 2001)

Mention should be made also of his wide range of other work – interviews, articles, screenplays, documentaries, ghostwriting..

An example of his musical collaboration can be heard here

His interview with Allen conducted in 1991 for the Lannon Foundation can be found here

For Beat scholars, perhaps, an enduring legacy, is the 1986 film he made with Richard Lerner Whatever Happened To Kerouac ?

Another great soul leaves us.   We remember his grace.



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