Michael McClure is an American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. After moving from Kansas to San Francisco as a young man, he was one of the five poets who participated in the legendary 1955 Six Gallery reading that featured the public debut of Allen Ginsberg's landmark poem Howl. McClure remains a key figure of the Beat Generation and is immortalized as Pat McLear in Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur. A central figure in the Beat Movement and the San Francisco Renaissance, his poetry is heavily infused with an awareness of nature, especially in the animal consciousness that often lies dormant in mankind. He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Obie Award for Best Play, an NEA grant, the Alfred Jarry Award and a Rockefeller grant for playwriting. McClure is still active as a poet, essayist and playwright and lives with his second wife, Amy, in the San Francisco Bay Area. McClure continues to reach new audiences through his poetry, plays, and performance.