NEELI CHERKOVSKI (nee Nelson Cherry) is an American poet and memoirist born on this date, who has resided in San Francisco since 1975.
Cherkovski was born in Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles State College (now Cal State Los Angeles). He is the author of many books of poetry, including Animal (1996), Leaning Against Time (2005), From the Canyon Outward (2009), and The Crow and I (2015). He is the coeditor of Anthology of L.A. Poets (with Charles Bukowski), Cross-Strokes: Poetry between Los Angeles and San Francisco (with Bill Mohr), and Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman (with Raymond Foye and Tate Swindell). He has also published bilingual editions in Austria, Mexico, and Italy. A facsimile edition of one of his notebooks was published by Viviani Edizione in Verona, Italy. Cherkovski also wrote biographies of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Charles Bukowski, as well as the critical memoir Whitman’s Wild Children (1988). His papers are held at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Cherkovski received the 2017 Jack Mueller Poetry Prize awarded at the Jack Mueller Festival in Fruita, Colorado.