I was saddened this weekend to hear of the passing of the poet Jim Carroll. Back in college, I liked to play basketball, writer, and wish I had the cajones to do real drugs — so Jim was always a great fit. And his writing was simply out of this world fantastic. If you haven’t read his stuff, I’d recommend picking up a copy of his urban coming of NY age story Basketball Diaries. Carroll writer’s “ear” was simply phenomenal. His prose fantastic. Like all writers do, I tried to copy his greatness, failed, but learned a lot. Carroll died of a heart attack last Friday in Manhattan. He was 60.
Here’s an LA Times piece, “Remembering Jim Carroll,” by poet Lewis MacAdams. I’ll borrow an excerpt from the column, quoting Jack Kerouac.
That’s when the poet Ted Berrigan took him to visit Jack Kerouac, who took a look at some of Jim’s writing and said, “Jim Carroll writes better prose than 89% of the novelists working today.”
It’s still true. To read the Rolling Stone obit, click here.
There’s a link within the story above that takes you to the Rolling Stone archives, and an 1999 interview with Carroll, where the poet speaks of a new book, touring, and Kurt Cobain.
RIP Punk Poet. And thanks.