Papers of American poet and novelist Kirby Doyle, who was associated with the San Francisco Renaissance poets and the Beat
Generation. Doyle's papers include biographical information, correspondence, photographs, and published and unpublished writings.
Poet and novelist Kirby Doyle was born on November 27, 1932 in San Francisco. At the age of 16, he left school and, with
a bogus birth certificate, joined the U.S. Army where, he later claimed, he "learned poetics operating electrical power generators."
After a brief stint working as a laborer in Europe, he returned to live in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, where he
eventually enrolled at San Francisco State College (now University) to study art. A course with Kenneth Rexroth inspired him
to try writing poetry, some of which was published in the college's literary magazine. At both the college's Poetry Center
and his wife DiDi's new bookstore The Golden Bough, he met other poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, including Michael
McClure, Lew Welch (his 'best bro,' according to McClure), and John Wieners, each of whom helped him publish poems, and, along
with Blake and the ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho, became major influences; Wieners introduced him to the work of Charles
Olson, whose work inspired Doyle's "After Olson" (1984). Doyle's life in "the Fill" during the 1950s and 60s was an almost
stereotypical example of the Beat generation lifestyle. "We were all thieves and outlaws," wrote McClure, "but gentle souls."