The Center for the Humanities

Philip Whalen's Journals: Selections 1957-1977 (Part I & II)

Editor: Brian Unger
Part I: 32 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding
Part II: 34 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding

These books are comprised of entries from Whalen’s Journals from two key periods in his life: the mid to late 1950s following the public recognition of the Beats, and the early 1970s after his return from Japan and decision to live in a Zen monastery; with introductory essay.

Author biography:

PHILIP WHALEN was born in Portland, Oregon on October 20, 1923. He roomed with future poets Gary Snyder and Lew Welch's at Reed College in Oregon. Whalen did not pursue a career in poetry, but fell into it after Snyder asked him to take part in the famous Six Gallery poetry reading in 1955. Like Snyder and Kerouac, Whalen took Buddhism very seriously, and also like them he found spiritual enlightenment as a fire lookout in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Whalen published many highly respected works of poetry, as well as two novels, You Didn't Even Try and Imaginary Speeches for a Brazen Head. He was ordained as a Zen monk in 1973. He lived as a Buddhist in San Francisco until he died on June 26, 2002.

Selected Archives:

  • The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA


Editors