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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
Beat poet Joans dies
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Joans was born Theodore Jones
Beat Generation poet Ted Joans, whose work drew from the African-American story-telling tradition, has died in Canada aged 74.

Joans was found dead in his Vancouver, British Columbia, apartment, said T Paul St Marie, an entertainer and family friend. He had been in poor health with diabetes.

The poet was a contemporary and friend of Beat icons Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, but never achieved their level of fame.

His career spanned more than 40 years and he was considered an influential figure in American and African-American literature.

"He was a character, a personality in his own right, a very lively person," said Vancouver author Jamie Reid.


"He wrote poetry that influenced and was influenced by the Beat Generation."

St. Marie said that Laura Corsiglia, a longtime companion of Joans, was asking the poetry community to write in chalk on streets "Ted Joans Lives" as a tribute.

When jazz great Charlie "Bird" Parker died in 1955, Joans wrote "Bird Lives" on the streets of New York.

Joans was born Theodore Jones in 1928, in Cairo, Illinois.

He later changed his surname to Joans to distinguish it from the more common spelling and, according to one source, because of a woman named Joan.

He had a degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University before moving to New York and joining the bohemian set of Greenwich Village in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


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