In Memoriam: George Hitchcock

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George Hitchcock (photo: Jim Hair)
George Hitchcock, poet, painter, publisher, and UCSC lecturer emeritus in Creative Writing (Literature), died on August 27 at the age of 96.

He taught writing at UCSC from 1970 to 1989, and created the Hitchcock Poetry Fund at Porter College in 2002. The endowment supports a variety of poetry-related programs on campus, including visiting poets, poetry journals, and conferences.

Porter College provost David Evan Jones noted that “First through his own work as a poet, actor, director, publisher, teacher, and later through his generosity and vision as a donor, George Hitchcock empowered multiple generations of innovative poets.” 

“Projects supported through his Porter College Hitchcock Poetry Fund have given Porter and UCSC more generally a national profile as a center for contemporary poetry representing a wide variety of aesthetics and approaches,” said Jones.

Jones added that in 2007, Porter College honored Hitchcock and his long-time partner Marjorie Simon with a poetry reading marking the installation of a memorial bench for George at a quiet spot overlooking the Porter meadow.

“When asked what inscription should appear on the bench, I thought of the moire patterns the wind makes in the tall grasses of the Porter meadow,” Jones recalled. "In George's One Man Boat,  I found the following line in one of his poems: 

        "...I shall lean into the calligraphy of new wheat"

“I have heard George referred to as an ‘abundant’ personality,” said Jones.  “Indeed. We shall miss him very very much."

Below are links to obituaries in the Los Angeles Times and Santa Cruz Sentinel.