bio

    Karl Kempton (b. July 1, 1943, Chicago) lives with his beloved wife, Ruth, in Oceano, California. His is a poet, visual poet, editor, publisher, writer, photographer, curator,, archaeo-astronomer, environmental activist and retired grower. Ruth created her wheatgrass business in 1984 and educated the area on its health supporting powers. He oversaw their expanded microgreen business from 1996 to 2019 when she decided to follow other interests, such as teaching yoga. They were constantly complimented on their products as “the best ever tasted.” Ruth set the standard for a national chain’s wheatgrass requirements. They retired from their business in 2019. Their daughter, Amy Franceschini, a widely respected international artist, is the founder of Future Farmers.
    His lexical and visual poems have been exhibited and published nationally and internationally with over 50 titles and over 15 collections e-published on the web, published in over 70 anthologies, and exhibited in over 100 group shows. His visual poetry was initially composed on typewriter beginning in 1971 with experiments before focusing on the weaver’s x-y grid in 1973: one horizontal line at a time, one vertical half-space at a time. He composed several book length books of typewriter works and series. In 1991 he began experimenting with the computer; after a few years his b&w works were published widely before adding color. He first multi-media photographic book is chewed, 2010. He continues working with a digital camera mixing local beach and dune images with text and textual gesturing in his Discourses series of books.
    He edited and published America’s first international visual poetry journal, Kaldron. Its last issue was in 1990. In 1996 its second volume appeared on the web co-edited with Karl Young and Harry Polkinhorn. He is  co-editor with Philip Davenport (Lake country, England) for a Kolkata, India hosted visual text art blog, Synapse International. In 2018, he competed a six year project, A History of Visual Text Art; it is a free pdf , over 550 pages and 1000 hot links. He has also written articles correcting misinformation concerning the history of visual poetics. His recent poetry and visual poetry books are Poems About Something & Nothing, 2015; Discourses 5: Fabulous Night Critters & 6: Skript, 2019; Rune 2: 26 Voices/January Interlude, second edition, 2020; Discourse 9: 12 Sand Scores by the Lunar Solar Wind & Water Quartette, 2021;  Intimate Hands: Selected B&W Poems, 1995-2013, 2021; and sandskrit of the oceano dunes, 2021.
    As an archaeo-astronomer, he theorized and proved through recovery the Chumash solstice-equinox-pole star grid across their ancestral lands. Activities as an environmental activist include: founding member of two direct action anti-nuclear groups; worked for and with the Northern Chumash since 1977; wrote an article that informed others who in turn forced the decommissioning of an oil tank farm the presence of which threatened the community of Avila Beach; fought against pesticide use in a neighborhood strawberry farm for 13 years (now a non chemical vegetable farm serving the community); instigated the ending of nearshore harmful sonar acoustic testing along the California Coast; and has been called the architect of the officially NOAA designated Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary protecting 7,500 square miles of marine environments currently in formal designation process. He began working on this effort in 1990. For this work, he received the Bill Denneen Environmental Trust Award.

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