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Harold Norse

Born 1916, New York City. B.A., Brooklyn College 1938; M.A., New York University 1951. At age 22 in 1939 he became a member of W. H. Auden's inner circle, cited by scholar/critic Nicholas Jenkins in The New Yorker, April 1, 1996. William Carlos Williams called him "the best poet of your generation". The 10-year correspondence between Norse and Williams (1951-1961) was published by Bright Tyger, San Francisco 1990. Williams wrote the Preface to Norse's translations of G. G. Belli, the 19th-century Roman dialect poet, published by Jargon Books, 1960; then by Villiers Ltd. London, 1974 and a second US edition Perivale Press 1974. That year City Lights published Norse's Hotel Nirvana: Selected Poems, establishing him among the leading Beat poets. He was nominated for the 1974 National Book Award.
Norse lived in the "Beat Hotel" in Paris, 1960-63, with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. There he wrote his experimental cut-up novel, Beat Hotel, published in German by Maro Verlag, Augsburg 1973, now in its 30th printing; Atticus, San Diego, Cal. 1983, and in Italian, Caneggio, 1985.