Donald Sidney-Fryer


En l’honneur de Jacques Foley (2012)

Once upon a time right now during the far future long ago, somethere amid the fabled hills and hillocks of Oak-Land, in the mysterious and exotic East Bay of San Francisco, there lived a certain good-willed, kind, sociable, and generous man called Jack Foley, renowned as poet, critic, commentator, and historian—if not indeed historiographer—of the poetry native to his time and place, the California that has flourished from around 1940 to 2012, but often extending much further back, to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. aided and abetted by his remarkable wife Adelle, also a poet, this stalwart individual Jack Foley has recorded in depth the contemporary development of this rare, precious, but aboriginal substance generally known as poetry, whether traditional or, more usually, non-traditional. Erudite in the poetry and literature of sundry languages, including his native English, Jack has interviewed far and wide many poets and other scriveners, and has broadcast these interviews and readings by means of a certain celebrated radio station in Berkeley, one KPFA, spreading thus again far and wide the great good word on poetry, and confirming that poetry is quite alive and well in California. His work in various forms represents not just a genuine treasure for California but just as much for the good old U.S.A. The crown of all his long, faithful, and assiduous labor has taken indelible shape in his monumental opus in two genuine tomes, Visions and Affiliations: A California Literary Time Line: Poets and Poetry, 1940-2005, published by the Pantograph Press in 2011. Ave, Jacques!

               —Donald Sidney-Fryer