Beat Generation poet Ted Joans, whose work drew from the African-American story-telling tradition, has died in Canada aged 74.
Joans was born Theodore Jones
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
The poet was a contemporary and friend of Beat icons Jack
Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, but never achieved their level
His career spanned more than 40 years and he was considered an influential figure in American and
"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
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,
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.