Ted Joans (1928-2003) was a poet, artist, and trumpet player. André Breton proclaimed him a Surrealist; he was also associated with the Beat Generation. But, Ted was a true original, and his work defies categorization.
Ted's artistic work was heavily influenced by jazz rhythms. A former roommate of Charlie Parker's, Ted coined the phrase "Bird Lives!" upon Parker's death.
Born on a riverboat in Cairo, Illinois, as a young man Ted moved to New York, where he became associated with the Bohemian scene in Greenwich Village. It was there that he rented himself out for parties, advertising this service as "Rent a Beatnik."
He met, and maintained close friendships with, a number of Beat Generation figures, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
Ted travelled widely, reading his poetry in nearly every African country, and living in various European & African countries, as well as in the United States. At the time of his death he was living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Ted published many collections of poetry. The last two included Teducation: Selected Poems by Ted Joans, published by Coffeehouse Press in 1999. Ekstasis Editions published "Our Thang," a collaboration with Laura Corsiglia, which featured Laura's drawings alongside Ted's poems.
In 1999, Quartermoon Press published his book WOW, which included 4 drawings of Ted Joans by Laura Corsiglia. WOW was a limited edition of only 350 copies, some of which were signed for the publisher by the poet.
This website is owned by Quartermoon Press, and we are pleased to present the few remaining copies of WOW.