The Maine Book

Selected Poems of Joe Cardarelli

edited and with a foreword by Anselm Hollo


ISBN 978-0-923389-63-6        $10.00        100 pages

I first met Joe in 1970, while teaching at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, when he visited Iowa City in the company of Geof Hewitt (who had anthologized Joe’s work in Quickly Aging Here, Anchor Books 1969), but only got to know him well five years later when my peregrinations took me to Baltimore. We became close friends and remained in touch through the late seventies, eighties, and early nineties. On and off, for almost a quarter of that recently ended century, we shared thoughts and words and bright moments.

            Anselm Hollo

painting of Joe Cardarelli by Martha Gatewood

Joe Cardarelli (1944–1994) was a poet, painter, graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and teacher of writing at the Maryland Institute College of Art for 27 years. Cardarelli pushed generations of MICA artists to incorporate writing into their creative repertoire, and regularly collaborated with his faculty colleagues on projects and performances. He is noted for establishing poetry series such as the Black Mountain poets, St. Valentine’s Day Poetry Marathon, and the Spectrum of Poetic Fire at MICA. In its 25th year, the Spectrum of Poetic Fire reading series still brings quality poets to MICA’s campus for readings during the academic year.


In his “Black Mountain Poets” series in 1983/84 he gathered material for a documentary video, Black Mountain Revisited — a historically invaluable collage of interviews and readings given by Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, Joel Oppenheimer, and Jonathan Williams — in the case of Duncan and Oppenheimer, some of their last readings on record. Over the years, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Anne Waldman, Maureen Owen, Ed Sanders, and many other representative writers of The New American Poetry were frequent visitors to the Institute.


Known as the “Godfather of Baltimore Poetry,” he died at the age of 50 in 1994.