Edward Sanders
Box 729 Woodstock, N.Y. 12498
845-679-6556 679-3290 fax


Education: BA in Greek, NYU 1964.

Lectures & Teaching

He was writer-in-residence for the fall semester, 2003, at the New York State Writers Institute in Albany, NY, teaching a course in Investigative Writing.

He has taught at the Naropa Institute, now Naropa University a number of times during the past 25 years, teaching courses on Investigative Poetry, the theory and practice of writing book-length poems, how to operate a small town newspaper, how to set poems to music, and other themes. He has lectured at the Rock and Roll Museum and Hall of Fame in Cleveland on the music scene in New York City in the 1960s; has taught several courses at the Schule für Dichtung in Vienna, including one titled “The Poetry and Life of Allen Ginsberg” and another on the Metrics & Verse of Sappho. And he has lectured on poetics and literature at many colleges, universities and cultural centers throughout the United States.


Sanders has received a number of awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry. His Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century, Selected Poems 1961-1985, won an American Book Award in 1988. He was awarded a $25,000 poetry fellowship for 1997-1998 by the Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts, Inc. in New York City. In 1997 Sanders received a Writers Community residency sponsored by the YMCA National Writer’s Voice through the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fund.


He has completed a 9-volume America, a History in Verse. Volume I (1900-1939), was published in 2000 by Black Sparrow Press. America, a History in Verse will trace the nation’s history from the 15th century through the 20th. Volume 2 (1940-1961) was published in 2001 by Black Sparrow Press. Volume 3 (1962-1970) was published in 2004 by Black Sparrow/David Godine.

A CD of America, a History in Verse, Volumes 1-5, the 20th Century is in print, with a full index for each volume, by Blake Route Press. Information on the entire America project will be available on the website, Americahistoryin verse.com.

Also published in 2000 was The Poetry & Life of Allen Ginsberg, a book length biography in verse published by Overlook Press. An English edition was published in 2003 by Scribners UK.

Sanders’ 1968, a History in Verse was published by Black Sparrow Press in 1997, and has been reprinted several times. The 260-page 1968 is both a personal history as well as a public account of that remarkable year.

In 1995 Black Sparrow published Sanders’ book-length biography in verse of Anton Chekhov. America, a History in Verse; 1968, a History in Verse; and Chekhov were written in accordance with the principles of “Investigative Poetry,” Sanders’ 1976 manifesto/essay published by City Lights Books.

Other recent books of verse by Edward Sanders include Hymn to the Rebel Cafe, 1993, and the 1994 Cracks of Grace.

Poems for New Orleans, a book-length sequence on the the history, past and present (Katrina and post-Katrina) of the great city was published by North Atlantic Books. Paris Records has released a version with music produced by Mark Bingham. See website Parisrecords.net

Da Capo press has published Sanders' book of memoirs tracing the years 1962-1970, titled Fug You— an Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs and Counterculture in the Lower East Side.


An update of Sanders’ The Family, the story of the Charles Manson group, has been published by Thunder’s Mouth Press. The Family remains in print in a number of countries, and is under option to be made into a movie. His two-volume Tales of Beatnik Glory was published in 1990, and has recently been optioned for a movie.

All four volumes of Tales of Beatnik Glory, covering the years 1957 through 1969, were published as a single volume by Thunder's Mouth Press in 2004.

Fugs & Fugs Final CD (Part 1)

He was the founder and leader of The Fugs, a folk-rock poetry satire group that has issued many albums and CDs in their 34-year history. The 1994 Fugs double CD titled The Real Woodstock Festival, was released on London’s ACE RECORDS. (ACE has released six Fugs CDs, and Fantasy Records in Berkeley, California has also released several). The Fugs reunite every year or so. In October 1997 they performed in Washington as part of the Smithsonian’s salute to Harry Smith; and in May of 1998 they sang at the tribute to bard Allen Ginsberg at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.

In August of 1999 The Fugs held reunion concerts, titled The Real Woodstock Festival II, on August 13 and 14, 1999 at the Byrdcliffe Performance Barn in Woodstock, NY.

The Fugs Final CD (Part 1), featuring 18 new tunes, was released world wide in 2003 by Artemis Records.

The Fugs Final CD (Part 2)

The Fugs completed work on a studio album, featuring new tunes by founders Tuli Kupferberg, Ed Sanders, Scott Petito, Steve Taylor and Coby Batty. The Fugs Final CD (Part 2) is called Be Free.

Also, 2008 saw the release of a 4-CD boxed set of early Fugs song, titled Don't Stop! Don't Stop! with over two hours of never-before-released material, plus numerous photos never seen before in print.


In the public recitals of his poetry, Sanders brings a mix of chanted, spoken and sung works, sometimes utilizing musical instruments of his own invention, including the Talking Tie, the Pulse Lyre, the Light Lyre, the Microlyre and the Mona Lisa Lyre.

The New Amazing Grace

During the 1990s Sanders produced The New Amazing Grace, a gathering of new verses to the classic hymn from over 100 American poets and musicians, including Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Bly, Pete Seeger, William Burroughs, Peter Schickele, Diane Wakoski, and many others

American Festival of Microtonal Music

His half-hour poetry/music work, “Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century,” was featured at the 1999 American Festival of Microtonal Music at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University. “Thirsting for Peace....” is a multi-part work in verse, with melodies accompanied by the Microlyre, a microtonal instrument with a curved keying surface so as to facilitate the playing of chords in a 31-note-to-the-octave scale.

Sanders’ CDs

A compact disc, Songs in Ancient Greek, featuring settings of Greek poems and texts, was released in 1990. A poetry/music CD, American Bard, was published in 1996 by Olufsen Records. Two musical settings of the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe by Sanders are included on a 2-CD set issued by Mouth Almighty Records. The 2-CD set is titled, “Closed on Account of Rabies-- The Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe.”

Sanders musical cantatas and dramas include Star Peace (1987), The Karen Silkwood Cantata (1980), and Cassandra (1993), all of which received theatrical productions.

Journalism and Essays

Sanders has written journalism for many publications, including The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Kansas City Star. He wrote the introduction to Allen Ginsberg's Deliberate Prose, his collected Essays, and has written liner notes for albums and CDs by Phil Ochs, Frank Zappa, and Harry Smith.

Woodstock Journal

With his wife, the artist and writer Miriam Sanders, he published and edited for eight years the Woodstock Journal, a center-left environmentalist pro-national-healthcare poetry-suffused biweekly newspaper published in Woodstock, New York

Current Projects

A new CD of verse titled Thirsting for Peace, has been released by Olufsen Records in Denmark; and he is preparing a new version of his musical drama, Cassandra.
Tales of Beatnik Glory has been optione

The Works of Edward Sanders include:


Poem from Jail, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1963
Peace Eye, Frontier Press, Buffalo, N.Y. 1966; Expanded edition, 1967
Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Institute of Further Studies, Canton, N.Y. 1973
20,000 A.D., North Atlantic Books, Plainfield, Vermont, 1976
Hymn to Maple Syrup and Other Poems, P.C.C. Publications, Woodstock, N.Y. 1985
Poems for Robin, P.C.C. Publications, Woodstock, N.Y. 1987
The Ocean Étude and Other Poems, P.C.C. Publications, Woodstock, N.Y. 1990
Thirsting For Peace in a Raging Century, Selected Poems 1961-1985,
Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1987
Hymn to the Rebel Café, Black Sparrow, Santa Rosa, California, 1993
Cracks of Grace, Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, 1994
Chekhov, a Biography in Verse, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, California, 1995
1968, a History in Verse, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, California, 1997
The Poetry and Life of Allen Ginsberg Overlook Press, NYC 2000
(English edition published by Scribners UK, 2002)
America, a History in Verse, Vol. 1, 1900-1939 Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, California, 2000
America, a History in Verse, Vol. 2, 1940-1961 Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, California, 2001
America, a History in Verse, Vol. 3, 1962-1970 Black Sparrow Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 2004

Recent Chapbooks

Stanzas for Social Change, 2004; This Morning's Joy 2008; Revs of the Morrow, 2008


Investigative Poetry, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1976
The ZD Generation, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, N.Y. 1980

Musical Dramas

The Municipal Power Cantata, premier performance 1977
The Karen Silkwood Cantata, premier performance 1979
Star Peace, a three-act drama, produced at Oslo International Poetry Festival, 1986; Olufsen Records, 1987
Cassandra, a two-act musical drama 1992, 1993

Short Stories

Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volume I, Stonehill, New York, N.Y. 1975
Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volumes I & II, Citadel, New York, N.Y. 1990
Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volume III, published as Der Sommer Der Liebe, in German translation by Hannibal Verlag, Austria, 1997
Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volume IV 2003

—All four volumes feature the same characters tracing the years 1957-1969
for a total of 58 stories


Fame & Love in New York, Turtle Island, Berkeley, California, 1980

Albums & CDs

Sanders Truckstop, Reprise Records, Burbank, California, 1970
Beer Cans on the Moon, Reprise Records, Burbank, California, 1972
Songs in Ancient Greek, Olufsen Records, Copenhagen, 1990
American Bard, Olufsen Records, Copenhagen, 1995
The Fugs Final CD (Part 1), Artemis Records, 2003


The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion, Dutton, New York, 1971
The Family: The Manson Group and Aftermath, expanded edition, Signet/New American Library 1990
The Family, updated edition, with 140 additional pages, Thunder’s Mouth Press, fall 2002
Vote, co-authored with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Warner Paperback, New York, 1972

Appearances in Anthologies

What Was the Beat Generation? Edited by Ann Charters, Penguin Books 2001
Section from Chekhov, a Biography in Verse, in Literature and its Writers, an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, edited by Ann and Sam Charters, Bedford Books Boston, 1997
The Portable Beat Reader, Viking, 1992
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman and Michael Meade; HarperCollins, 1992
The Postmoderns: The New American Poetry Revisited, Grove Press, 1982
Out of This World: Anthology 1966-1991 The Poetry Project at the St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery, Crown Publishers, 1991

and others.

Musical Instruments

Sanders has invented a number of musical instruments, to facilitate the recitation of poetry. Among them are:
The Pulse Lyre
The Talking Tie
The Singing Quilting Frame
The Microlyre
The Mona Lisa Lyre
and others