Source: - Sep 14, 2009 in Entertainment



US poet Jim Carroll has died following a heart attack
[on Sept. 11, 2009, R.I.P.]

by Gemma Fox

The US poet and musician Jim Carroll has died of a heart attack at home in Manhattan at the age of 60. The death, which happened on Friday, was confirmed by his ex-wife, Rosemary Klemfuss.

The punk poet was married to Rosemary Klemfuss in 1978, whom he met in San Francisco but they divorced in the mid 1980s. Mr Carroll had moved to San Francisco in 1973 to try and get away from the drug scene. He had settled in Bolinas, an artistic community north of the city.

While Carroll was a teenager in the 1960s he attended Trinity, a private school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where he was considered a basketball star. He kept a journal of that era in his life, where he combined a hectic lifestyle of, poetry, drugs and sports, that was later published as "The Basketball Diaries" in 1978. It is considered his most famous work and was made into a film in 1995 starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

"The Basketball Diaries" chronicles his teen life from when he first enthusiastically started playing basketball and finishes as he is in the depth of drug addiction.

In an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, singer Patti Smith said, “I met him in 1970, and already he was pretty much universally recognized as the best poet of his generation.

“The work was sophisticated and elegant. He had beauty.”

His career in music was started almost by accident when Patti Smith brought him onstage to read his poetry while her band provided some background music. Carroll was encouraged by the response and began his own band, The Jim Carroll Band. He caught the attention of Rolling Stone, Keith Richards who secured the band with a three record deal with Atlantic Records.

As a teen he published, in 1967, a pamphlet of his poems called "Organic Trains" and the follow-up, “4 Ups and 1 Down”, which he published in 1970, brought him a cult following which increased when The Paris Review published excerpts from his journals the same year.

He won much acclaim when he published "Living at the Movies" in 1973 and gained a wider audience.

After his music career ended in the mid-eighties Mr Carroll published several more books of poetry including in 1983, "The Book of Nods" and in 1998, "Void of Course: Poems 1994-1997".

He also released many spoken word albums.

Jim Carroll is survived by his brother Tom. Read more: