Best known for his poetry, Pete Winslow was also a newspaper columnist, essayist & novelist. A surrealist poet, Pete was also sometimes associated with the Beat Generation.
Born October 19, 1934 in the state of Washington, Winslow passed away in September 1972 of complications following surgery, leaving a wife and 5-year-old son behind.
Following his death, his last volume of poems, A Daisy in the Memory of a Shark, was published by City Lights Books as no. 31 in the Pocket Poets Series.
There is precious little information available about Pete Winslow, on the internet or elsewhere. Empty Mirror Books was given a cache of Winslow’s letters to a close friend, along with some clippings & other materials, which has helped to shine some light on the man, his life & work.
Those items and some online research about Pete’s publications yield the information that follows. Additional information about Pete Winslow & his work would be very welcome.
Mark in Time
This photo, by Christa Fleishmann, was published in the book, Mark in Time: Portraits & Poetry / San Francisco, alongside Winslow’s poem, “Only the Sky,” the poem’s first publication.
Mark in Time was published in 1971 by Glide Publications and was edited by Nick Harvey.
The autobiographical note, which Winslow wrote himself, reads:
Born Oct. 19, 1934 in Seattle, grad of University of Washington where I edited a humor magazine, made a living as a newspaperman since 1956k turned on by Ginsberg 1957 & Lamantia 1967, now surrealist, married, one child. Writings: Whatever Happened to Pete Winslow (1960) and The Rapist and Other Poems (1962), both out of print; Monster Cookies (1967), in print and available from me; Mount Gogo (novel, 1968), and Mummy Tapes (1970), both unpublished. Current project: essays on contemporary poetry.
‘Pete’ Winslow, Jr., poet and reporter, dies
Dean H. (Pete) WInslow, Jr., 38, former Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter and a poet, died yesterday in San Francisco after surgery.
A Seattle native, Mr. Winslow graduated from the University of Washington in journalism in 1956. He received a degree in English in 1958.
Mr. Winslow worked for the P.-I. and the Valley Publishing Co. before moving to California, where he became a reporter for The Livermore Independent.
Mr. Winslow wrote the novel “Mount Gogo,” and several books of poetry including “The Rapist and Other Poems,” “Monster Cookies,” “Mummy Tapes,” and “Whatever Happened to Pete Winslow.” In 1967 he received a $1,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Surviving are his wife, Jane; a son, Peter Dana Winslow, at home; his father Dean H. Winslow, Kingston, and a sister, Mrs. Diane Brush, Spokane.
Memorial Services will be held in San Francisco Wednesday.
— from an undated news clipping, published in the Seattle Times
Pete Winslow, Poet, Grad of UW, Dies
SAN FRANCISCO – (AP) — Dean H. (Pete) Winslow Jr., North Beach poet who was a former Seattle newspaperman, died here yesterday at Kaiser Hospital of complications following surgery. He was 38.
A graduate of the University of Washington, Winslow worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before coming to this area where he became a poet and worked for the Livermore, Calif. Independent.
He has published several volumes of poetry and at the time of his death was working on a volume of essays.
Survivors include his wife, Jane; a son, Peter Dana; his father Dean H. Winslow of Kingston, Wash, and a sister, Diane Brush of Spokane.
Memorial Services are planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ascension Lutheran Church, 19th and Dolores Sts.
— September 18, 1972, as published in the Seattle P-I
Sadly, Pete’s son, Peter Dana Winslow, passed away in June 1992, just past his 25th birthday.
Pete Winslow Selected Bibliography
What Ever Happened to Pete Winslow? (np): Tolle House, 1960. 52 pages. 150 copies were published. The cover illustration is by Will Mutch. This was Pete’s first book.
The Rapist and Other Poems. San Francisco: Golden Mountain Press (1962).
Monster Cookies, Poems 1962-1966. (n.p.): (n.p.), 1967. Self-published, 28 pages. Illustrated by Ken Brandon. [Buy here.]
Mummy Tapes, Poems 1969-70 San Francisco: Medusa Press, 1971. Dedicated to Philip Lamantia.
Daisy in the Memory of a Shark: Poems 1970-1971 San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1973. Number 31 in the Pocket Poets Series. Published after the poet’s death. With an introduction by Stephen Schwartz.
Mount Gogo. (novel, unpublished)
New Girl In My Dreams San Bruno: Fat Frog Press, 1968. “Broadside Battery No. 3.” 8.5 x 11 inches. The poem first appeared in the book “Monster Cookies.”
selected publications in periodicals:
(there are many more; these are just a few I have stumbled across)
Grist #11. Edited by John Fowler. Lawrence, KS: Grist, c1968. Includes the poem “The Anarchist Guide Book.”
Aldebaran Review 4. Edited by John Oliver Simon. Berkeley, CA: Noh Directions Press, 1969. Periodical published in May 1969.
Hanging Loose No. 12. Edited by Robert Hershorn. Brooklyn, NY: Hanging Loose Press, 1970. The Fall 1970 issue. 52 pages.
Journal 31: Vol. 1, No. 1. Edited by David Plumb. San Francisco: Journal 31, 1972. Pete Winslow’s contribution is an essay on the poetry of Bob Kaufman.
New: American & Canadian Poetry, No. 18, April 1972. Literary magazine.
selected publications in anthologies:
Light Benders. Edited by Roger Steffens. Bellingham, WA: Goliards Press, 1972.
City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology. Edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995. Selections from the first 52 volumes in the Pocket Poets Series. 259 pages. Includes two poems, “O god of spring forgive me” and “I blink and half my life is over” from Daisy in the Memory of a Shark, which was Pocket Poets No. 31.
Anthologie des Poètes Surréalistes Américains. Edited by Jean-Jacques Celly. France: Éditions Jacques Brémond, 2002. 143 pages. Includes a foreword by Franklin Rosemont. Includes poems by Pete Winslow & many other American surrealists such as Jayne Cortez, Rikki Ducornet, Ted Joans, Philip Lamantia, Nancy Joyce Peters, Penelope Rosemont, Franklin Rosemont.
view photo of book cover
Mark In Time: Portraits & Poetry / San Francisco. Edited by Nick Harvey. San Francisco: Glide Publications, 1971. A poem by Pete Winslow appears alongside his photographic portrait in this anthology of San Francisco poets.
criticism & tributes
A Memorial To Pete Winslow: featuring Pete’s poetry, two of his memorable Monster Cookies columns, and reminiscences by his friends. Livermore, California: The Independent, October 1.1972. This special section, a tribute to Pete Winslow, included articles, a few of Pete’s poems, and reprints of two of the “Monster Cookies” columns which he wrote for The Independent.
Small Press Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1967. Edited by Len Fulton. El Cerrito, CA: Dust Magazine, 1967. 56 pages. Includes a review of Monster Cookies.
“Speaking in Tongues: The disappearing poetry of American surrealist master Pete Winslow” by Sally Eckhoff. (Online; PDF document.)
First published in VLS (Village Voice Literary Supplement), October 1990.
GRIST On-Line, #2 November, 1993 Edited & published by John Fowler. Also issued in a paper edition, to subscribers. Includes “The Anarchist Guidebook”.
Ralph Magazine, Issue #18, Late Fall, 1998. Includes “Hurricane Fred,” which can be read on the Ralph Mag website. Also reprinted (via a link to the same page) in Ralph’s 100th Issue, Volume XXXV, Number 4, Mid-Summer 2003, as one of the 21 best poems published in the magazine thus far.
Pete’s very short poem, Form, appears on a webpage entitled “the Literary Life.”
See also the review entitled “Speaking in Tongues” under the “criticism & tributes” heading above; it includes work from “A Daisy in the Memory of a Shark.”
The Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Livermore Independent. He wrote a human interest column, which, like one of his poetry collections, was titled “Monster Cookies.”
news & links
Many thanks to S. Tierney for generously supplying much of the information on this page.
Additional information and comments
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