- Due to an increased amount of spam, new users must request an account, confirm their email address and be approved before creating or editing pages.

S.A. Griffin

From The Literary Underground Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search
S.A. Griffin
SA Griffin.jpg
S.A. Griffin
Birth Date March 16, 1954
Birthplace San Antonio, Texas, United States
Occupation Actor, Poet
Language English
Genre Poetry
Notable Works The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Ed.

S.A. Griffin (b. 16 March 1954) is an American poet and actor from the East Bay in San Francisco, California. Editor and publisher of Rose of Sharon Press, he is a member of The Carma Bums, a poetry/performance ensemble which included Bobbo (Robert) Staron, M. Lane Bruner, Doug Knott, Mike M. Mollett and Scott Wannberg.[1]



Early Life and Education

The oldest of six children, S.A. was born in San Antonio, Texas while his father Robert was completing the last months of his tour of duty in the Air Force as a Security Policeman. Upon completion of his tour, his father relocated the family to his hometown of Richmond, California where Griffin spent the majority of his childhood in what was once Easter Hill. Attending nine different grade schools, Griffin lived in many small cities in the East Bay during his childhood. He graduated from Castro Valley High school in 1972.

Military Service

Griffin served honorably as a 702 clerk typist in the United States Air Force from 1972–1976, and was stationed at Warner Robins AFB Georgia and Eielson AFB Alaska. During off duty hours, he performed as the lead singer in local rock/folk cover bands while serving in Alaska. After his volunatry tour of duty in the United States Air Force, he returned to the San Francisco East Bay attending Chabot College from 1976-78, and lived in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles in 1978 to pursue a successful career as an actor.

Acting Career

Griffin came to Los Angeles in September of 1978 with a scholarship to attend the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Workshop directed by Paul Gleason. Upon completion of the 12 week workshop, he was asked to audition for the role of Jud Fry in "Oklahoma!" at Sebastian's Grand in Anaheim. He got the job and his Actor's Equity card, and in 1979, received a Dramalogue Award for his work. He spent the next six years doing stage work, primarily in musicals. In 1984 he was booked as one of the six silent gunslingers in Clint Eastwood's "Pale Rider" and has been working on camera since. He has appeared in films by several notable film directors, including Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark (1987), and Ivan Reitman's Twins (1988). Notable television guest star credits include Perry Mason, Matlock, Alien Nation, Designing Women, Melrose Place, Las Vegas, Dexter, Days of our Lives and appears as Dr. Osiris in the ride film In Search of The Obelisk directed by Douglas Trumbull at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada screening there since 1992.

Griffin has appeared in over 150 commercials and was awarded the Kari Award (Canada), as Best Actor in commercials.

Literary Career

Griffin first began reading and performing poetry in public at The Water Espresso Gallery at the corner of Hudson Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood in 1981 and began publishing in small press DIY journals and anthologies soon after. The Water, which shared a wall with The Lhasa Club, is where he met the members of The Lost Tribe. S.A. and The Lost Tribe were regular performers at The Lhasa Club as well as the D.A. Ward Studio, The Anti Club and X=Art Gallery.

Griffin is a Los Angeles-based poet, DJ for killradio.org, KBLT pirate radio, co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry awarded The Firecracker Award as best in alternative press and was named Best Performance Poet by Wanda Coleman for the LA Weekly in 1989. In 2011, he was honored as the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, California. He has served on the curatorial board at Beyond Baroque since 2010.

Griffin has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada with Los Angeles based poetry/performance ensembles, The Lost Tribe (1984-1992) in a 1972 Mercury Capri, M. Lane Bruner, S.A. Griffin, Doug Knott and Mike M. Mollett, White Trash Apocalypse (1995-1997) in a 1971 Buick Riviera, Iris Berry, Pleasant Gehman and S.A. Griffin and The Carma Bums (1989-2009) from behind the wheel of a 1959 Cadillac and a 1966 GMC bus. A feature length documentary about the Carma Bums The Luxurious Tigers of Obnoxious Agreement was released in 1998, directed by Bruce Dickson. In the summer of 1994, The Carma Bums traveled to the University of Washington at Seattle to create The Carma Bums International Superhighway Tour of Words considered the first poetry website of its kind with graphic images, sound files, hyperlinks and text. The website was hosted by the University of Washington until 1996 and was then hosted by the University of Southern California until 1998. The Lost Tribe a short film about The Lost Tribe, was directed by John Leslie Fox in 1988.

Widely published and anthologized as a poet, he has also written for the LA Weekly and is a contributing writer for The Underground Guide To Los Angeles, which remained on The Los Angeles Times bestseller's list for nine weeks.

Established Rose of Sharon Press in 1988 with the publication of Sharktalk by Doug Knott.

Griffin worked on staff for underground alt poetry zines Shattersheet, The Moment, and Nuthin' Sacred, then published and edited his own zine (Sic) Vice & Verse with Rafael FJ Alvarado for 9 years. Griffin co-edited and published Black Ace 8 for Temple of Man in 2007, a tribute to late Venice Beat progenitor Tony Scibella. He is also the publisher and editor of the broadside series MEAT.

In 2009, Griffin purchased a decommissioned 100 lb MK4 Vietnam-era bomb on Craigslist for $100. Now dubbed "The Poetry Bomb", this former U.S. military practice bomb has been converted into a beautiful object of art, filled with poetry from around the world. It has been named Elsie in honor of Griffin's paternal grandmother Elsie Emerson, painted a marvelous blue in the spirit of an American hotrod – complete with pin-stripes. It has a curved window that opens, making it possible to not only see inside, but to take poems out for sharing and to continue to collect poems to put inside. There are poems from all over the world, and from every walk of life from individuals from 3-93.[2]

Griffin purchased a 1995 Ford Econoline van to travel the bomb, touring the country reading poetry from inside The Poetry Bomb in an attempt to inspire disagreements. The Poetry Bomb Couch Surfing Across America Tour of Words 2010 was a five week tour which included stops in California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado and Utah.[3]

Personal Life

Griffin has one son, Spencer, by his second wife, Sharon. In 2000, Griffin was married to Lorraine Perrotta in Griffith Park about 50 yards from the Merry-Go-Round. His wife Lorraine was ushered to the wedding in his 1960 Cadillac Coupe.



Select Works



Further Reading



Notes and references

  1. http://www.poetsagainstthewar.org/displaypoem.asp?AuthorID=12221
  2. "The POETRY BOMB with S.A. Griffin" (TheUnion.com May 27, 2010)
  3. Poetry Bomb Schedule

External links

This article uses Creative Commons licensed content from Wikipedia's S.A. Griffin, See History:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.A._Griffin 10/11/2010.
Personal tools