Click to Read The A.D. Winans Bio

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet and writer who graduated from San Francisco State College (now University) and is the author of over fifty books, including North Beach Poems, North Beach Revisited, and This Land Is Not My Land, (which won a 2006 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for excellence in literature.)
From 1972 to 1989 Winans edited and published Second Coming Press, which
produced a large number of books and anthologies, among them the highly
acclaimed California Bicentennial Poet's Anthology, which included poets like
David Meltzer, Jack Micheline, Charles Plymell, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ishmael
Reed, Josephine Miles, Bob Kaufman, Gene Fowler, and William Everson.

Mr. Winans has worked as an editor and writer for the San Francisco Art Commission, Neighborhood Arts Commission, from 1975 to 1980 (during which time he produced the Second Coming 1980 Poets and Music Festival, honoring the late Josephine Miles and John Lee Hooker.)

He has worked at a variety of jobs, most recently with the U.S. Dept.
of Education as an Equal Opportunity Specialist, investigating claims of
discrimination against minorities, women and the disabled.

He has read his poetry with many acclaimed poets, including Jack Hirschman,
Diane DiPrima, Bob Kaufman, Jack Micheline, Harold Norse, Lawrence
Ferlinghetti, and all of the past and current San Francisco Poet Laureates.  

A.D. Winans' poetry, prose, articles, and book reviews have appeared in over 2000 literary magazines and anthologies, including City Lights Journal,
Poetry Australia, Exquisite Corpse,Confrontation, Margie, The New York Quarterly, The Patterson Literary Review, Pearl, Bottom Dog Press, The Smith, Beat Scene, The American Poetry Review, Beatitude, The Smith and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.

In April 2002 a poem of his was set to music By William Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize
winning composer, and performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.

The Louisiana University at Lafayette recorded a CD of Song Cycles by American
Composers, and included in the CD is the song cycle of nationally acclaimed
William Bolcom. Old Addresses, which includes Mr. Winans’ poem, Lady Death,
as the first song in the cycle, with the text of the poem in the CD booklet.

In January 2009 Sound Street tracks released a mastered CD of his reading from
his book, The Reagan Psalms.

In 2009 PEN Oakland awarded him a lifetime achievement award. In November
2010 BOS Press published a 365-page book of his Selected Poems. In 2012
Little Red Tress Press published his book San Francisco Poems.

Writers like Colin Wilson, Studs Terkel, James Purdy, Peter Coyote, Herbert Gold,
Jack Hirschman, and the late Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski have praised
his work.

Winans is a member of PEN, and has served on the Board of Directors of various
art organizations, including the now defunct Committee of Small Magazine
Editors and Publishers (COSMEP), The South of Market Cultural Center, and
Friends of Services For the Arts. He is currently on the advisory board of the San
Francisco International Poetry Library.

He is listed in Who’s Who International Poetry Directory, Who’s Who in America,the Gale Research Contemporary American Authors series, and the Gale
Research Contemporary authors autobiography series.

His essay on the late Bob Kaufman was published in the American Poetry
Review and was republished in 2007 by The Writer's Research Group. In
September 2009 the article was again re-published along with a poem of his for
Bob Kaufman, as part of a booklet produced by the Los Angeles Afro American

Recent books include Billie Holiday Me And The Blues, No Room For Buddha, and Love – Zero and the just released San Francisco Poems. 

His archives are housed at Brown University.


  1. Trey Vessel16 April, 2013

    I had not heard of this poet until I came to San Fran. Now that I am back home it seems more people know his work than I imagined. I wish I could have heard him read in person; I feel a rich identity with the lines he writes.

    I rarely waste words writing my "opinion" after reading something on websites. But this site is excellent in content and format. This poet, A D Winans is awesome!

    Also, I do not often bother to comment on them, either, because it's a pain in my ass to fill out the required info and the 'captcha' crap etc etc. But I decided it was worth my time to leave word on his site as i feel honored to have been given the url in the first place. I kinda feel like part of the "IN CROWD" after my girl friend sent me A D Winans fan site link. And I am almost 50!!!

    But seriously, after reading all I could find of his work, I feel like I stumbled on to some of the best constructed poems available in modern writing.

    Very impressed!

  2. thanks. If you're in the area, I'll be reading at Alleycat Bookstore in SF on August 15 and at Adobe Bookstore on September 6th. Both readings start at 7 pm.

  3. Many thanks for the treasures here. I read with great interest your interview, A.D. Winans: The Golden Gate Poet. I felt in sync with so much of what you had to say. It brought back memories of the Co-Existence Bagel shop. At age 15, I had hitched up from LA to visit my cousin who lived on Green Street. Stepping inside, it was as if I had stepped into the Wonderful Land of Oz 1950s beat style, color! faces! and best of all, the music! - from a jukebox, I jazz, flamenco.
    And thanks for recommending Bob Kaufman's O Jazz O A War Memorial. Blindingly Great!
    Your interview about Bukowski was illuminating and comported with my own experiences. Introduced by Bukowski's then friend Ben Pleasants, I photographed Bukowski along with Ben and wife to be Linda, at the Carlton Way apartment in 1976. It was quite a lovely, easy wine word beer afternoon. Later, I learned Ben stepped back from the friendship before he was about to be booted out of the inner circle. You mention Steve Richmond whom I also photographed in those days at his home in Venice beach. More memories. Sunlight, sharp shadow, green life exploding out the trees, bushes and flower outside his small sandy marijuana inflused home.
    And again thanks for your poem about Louie Armstrong. Once again, great, true, swinging, funny, hurt.
    I came upon your site while doing a search on The San Gottardo Hotel. My mother wrote a novel roughly based on her experiences living there in the middle 60s. My brother and I will be publishing it fairly soon. The novel, San Giovanni Days, was originally going to be called A Great Place to Drink. We're going back to that original title, and, now, before publishing it, I'm in the midst of working on the cover... Lory (Lawrence) Robbin

  4. ps, this may be of interest (John Lee Hooker):

  5. had a lot of good times at the San Gottardo Hotel. the restaurant and bar was run by a french couple. On my first night back to North Beach from Panma and a military stint, at the heart of the Beat times, I bellied up to the bar and ordered a drink, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and this nice looking woman said, "Do you want to fuck?" We went to her room upstairs and thus was my welcome back to SF and the discovry of a wild era time.

  6. Email communication can be directed to me at ...,