Ted Berrigan was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 15, 1934. He attended Providence College for a year before joining the U.S. Army in 1954 at the age of nineteen. After serving in the Korean War, he received a BA in English from the University of Tulsa in 1959 and an MA in 1962.
Berrigan moved to New York in the early 1960s, where he edited and published C Magazine and ran “C” Press Books, wrote art criticism, and collaborated with writers and artists Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard, and Anselm Hollo. Berrigan was a central figure in the second generation of the New York School of poets, which included Hollo, Padgett, Anne Waldman, and Jim Carroll. He was the author of more than twenty books, including A Certain Slant of Sunlight (O Books, 1988); Red Wagon (Yellow Press, 1976); Bean Spasms (with Padgett and Brainard) (Kulchur Press, 1967); and The Sonnets (“C” Press, 1964).
Berrigan taught at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York and was writer-in-residence / visiting poet at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has also taught at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Yale University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Essex in England, Northeastern Illinois University, and the Naropa Institute. In 1979, he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ted Berrigan died on July 4, 1983.