Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

[In Every Word]

by Paul Fericano

I send my warmest condolences to Steve Kowit’s family. Steve was one of my poetry heroes. I am grateful to have known and loved him. Over the years, when he signed the bottom of his letters and books with the word “hugs,” he meant it. In 1981, when he operated Gorilla Press, he published a broadside of one of his own poems, the beautiful and powerful “They Are Looking for Che Guevara.” It remains for me one of the most influential poems of my generation. Today, I read this poem and find I am looking for Steve Kowit in every word. Thank you, Steve. Hugs.

—First published on 13 April 2015 in response to “Last Will by Steve Kowit” in San Diego Free Press (3 April 2015); appears here with author’s permission


Broadside of “They Are Looking for Che Guevara” by Steve Kowit

Copyrighted © by Steve and Mary Kowit.
All rights reserved.

See also They Are Looking for Che Guevara in this issue.


SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Paul Fericano

is a satirist, literary provocateur, and social activist. His poetry and prose have appeared in publications and media outlets in the U.S. and abroad since 1971, including The Wormwood Review, Mother Jones, Saturday Night Live, and Krokodil (Moscow). His latest collection is The Hollywood Catechism (Silver Birch Press, 2015). In 1982, he received the Howitzer Prize for his poem, “Sinatra, Sinatra,” an award he himself created and exposed as a literary hoax to reveal the absurd nature of competitive awards. The following year, “Commercial Break” received both the Prix de Voltaire (Paris) and the Ambrose Bierce Prize (San Francisco) for upholding the traditions of socio-political satire.

A native of San Francisco, Fericano serves as director of Instruments of Peace/SafeNet, a nonprofit reconciliation group established in 2003 for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and writes an online column on the healing process, A Room with a Pew.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury