PAUL MARIAH, American poet, born (d: 1996); Born Paul Jones, the name Mariah was chosen by Paul when he moved to San Francisco after having served a prison sentence for consensual sex with a man in Texas. His prison experiences were cited as crucial to his personal and literary development. He started Manroot Books and a literary magazine with the same title in 1969. A dozen issues of the magazine appeared, along with 30 monographs.
His enterprise published many leading writers of the time, including notable editions of such major poets as Jack Spicer, James Broughton, Robert Peters, and Thom Gunn. Mariah also issued bilingual editions of Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, and revived interest in the work of Robert Ingersoll, the 19th century prison reformer and social critic. His own poetry appeared in two collections, “Personae Non Gratae” in 1971 and “This Light Will Spread’‘ in 1978. He was also prominent in the movement for prisoners’ rights. This Light Will Spread: Selected Poems 1960-1975 by Paul Mariah Softcover, Manroot Pr, ISBN 0686257405 (0-686-25740-5)