Monday, August 17, 2009

Poets who wrote crime or detective novels:

Kenneth Fearing
Dorothy B. Hughes
Jack Spicer
Richard Hugo
R.V. Cassill
D.K Markham
C. Day Lewis
David Markson

Without a doubt, Fearing and Hughes were adept at both poetry and crime fiction. Spicer and Hugo's detective novels weren't bad, but more like pastiche, and hardly up to the quality of their poety. On the other hand, Jim Thompson and Raymond Chandler also wrote poetry, but not up to the standard of their fiction. Then, of course, there's Poe and I suppose one could even add Robert Bolano. Are there other poets/crime writers that I'm forgetting? I was put in mind of the above while reading Kevin Killian presents Jack Spicer on Dennis Cooper's blogsite, an excellent overview of Spicer by his biographer.


Ron said...

I would add Jim Nisbet

Woody Haut said...

How could I have forgotten Jim Nisbet, one of my favorites.

Woody Haut said...

And I suppose one could add Barry Gifford, though more noir than crime.

Woody Haut said...

And perhaps Paul Auster, with his New York Trilogy.

knott said...

Denis Johnson:

Already Dead (based, as he claimed in the afterword, on my "Poem Noir")

and his latest, I forget the title (Nobody Move?)

Woody Haut said...

Of course, Dennis Johnson. At least when it comes to Already Dead, as well as his latest, Nobody Move, and, of course, Jesus's Son, which is about as noir as it gets. Though I always get the impression he's playing with the genre, or maybe dancing around its edges, rather than committing himself to it whole- heartedly.

Juri said...

Ishmael Reed?

Max Brand, the pulpster? He wrote some volumes of poetry and also some crime/adventure/espionage novels alongside his better known western stuff. I'm sure there are other pulpsters who did both.

Juri said...

More names came to mind:


Jory Sherman who did lots of weird sleaze paperback stuff in the sixties and seventies, some with obvious criminous content

Woody Haut said...

This is getting interesting now. The original list was just off the top of my head. And what about the infamous Maxwell Bodenheim, whose novels were bleak and filled with criminal intent and activity?

Woody Haut said...

Also David Bottoms.