Memorial for Tony Vaughan, S.F. poet, painter

Jesse Hamlin, Chronicle Staff Writer

Published 4:00 am, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A memorial poetry reading will be held Sunday for Tony Vaughan, a San Francisco poet and painter
who was engaged in the city's alternative culture for more than 30 years. Mr. Vaughan died at his
Potrero Hill home Sept. 27 of melanoma at the age of 61.

"Tony was what I would call under the underground," said North Beat poet Neeli Cherkovski.
"As a poet and painter, he bridged the Beat and '60s aesthetic with his own profound lyricism
over many decades.

His poetry had a quiet rigor. He was warm and compassionate. He was a real cultural fighter,
but not in an ideological way."

Mr. Vaughan was a self-taught painter whose colorful expressionist canvases had a naive charm.
His art and poetry appeared in various West Coast publications, among them CoEvolution Quarterly,
the North Coast Review, the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Crash and North Beach Beat.
He wrote several unpublished novels, including a modern telling of the Orpheus myth,
"The Legend of Hotel Del Rio," set in North Beach.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Vaughan received a bachelor of arts degree in theater from Lawrence
University in Wisconsin. He moved to San Francisco in the 1970s and lived in the Goodman Building,
an artists' collective on Geary Street. He was among those who fought a prolonged battle in the early
1980s to stop the owners of the landmark building from evicting the tenants. They lost the fight, but
with financial help from the city, a new live-work space for artists, Goodman2, was built on Potrero Hill.
Mr. Vaughan lived there.

Moving to New York, he worked in the graphic design department at the Museum of Modern Art for
several years. Returning to San Francisco, Mr. Vaughan led art therapy groups in halfway houses, wrote
and painted.He showed his pictures at the Live Worms Gallery in North Beach, where he played guitar
at openings. Mr. Vaughan is survived by a brother, Michael; and two nieces.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Cherkovski, Jack Hirschman, Aggie Falk and other local poets will convene
at Live Worms,1345 Grant Ave., to read their work in Mr. Vaughan's honor.

This article appeared on page B - 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle