James Broughton

James
Broughton

James Broughton was an American poet and poetic filmmaker. He was part of the San Francisco Renaissance, a precursor to the Beat poets. He was an early bard of the Radical Faeries, as well as a member of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Films

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    Mother's Day
    Experimental

    Mother's Day
    James Broughton

    16mm, black and white, sound, 22 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Music
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    Adventures of Jimmy
    Narrative

    Adventures of Jimmy
    James Broughton

    16mm, black and white, sound, 11 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Comedy
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    Four in the Afternoon
    Experimental

    Four in the Afternoon
    James Broughton

    16mm, black and white, sound, 15 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    Loony Tom, The Happy Lover
    Experimental

    Loony Tom, The Happy Lover
    James Broughton

    16mm, black and white, sound, 10.25 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Comedy
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    Pleasure Garden, The
    Experimental

    Pleasure Garden, The
    James Broughton

    16mm, black and white, sound, 38 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Comedy
    • Music
    • LGBT / Queer
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    Bed, The
    Experimental

    Bed, The
    James Broughton

    16mm, color, sound, 19 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Body
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    Nuptiae
    Experimental

    Nuptiae
    James Broughton

    16mm, color, sound, 14 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    Golden Positions, The
    Experimental

    Golden Positions, The
    James Broughton

    16mm, color and b/w, sound, 32 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Body
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    This Is It
    Experimental

    This Is It
    James Broughton

    16mm, color, sound, 9.25 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Literarature & Theater

Biography

Born in Modesto, California, poet, filmmaker, and playwright James Richard Broughton grew up in San Francisco. He was educated at Stanford University. Broughton was a member of the San Francisco Renaissance movement. In his poems, he used accessible language and sly humor to explore themes of sexuality, mysticism, and a personal mythology, often borrowing structurally from nursery rhymes and children’s songs.
 
An introduction to the range of Broughton’s work is available in All: A James Broughton Reader (2007, edited by Jack Foley). He wrote more than 20 books, including the poetry collections True & False Unicorn (1955), A Long Undressing: Collected Poems, 1949–1969 (1971), and Packing Up for Paradise: Selected Poems 1946–1996 (1997); the autobiographical prose poem collection The Androgyne Journal (1977); and the memoir Coming Unbuttoned (1993). His poems are featured in the anthology The New American Poetry 1945–1960, edited by Donald Allen.
 
Broughton made more than 20 experimental films during his career, including The Potted Psalm (1946, co-written with Sidney Peterson); The Pleasure Garden (1953), which won Best Fantastic-Poetic Film at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival; and Scattered Remains (1988, co-written with Joel Singer).
 
Broughton’s honors include a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and an American Film Institute Award for Independent Film and Video Artists. Broughton taught at San Francisco State University and San Francisco Art Institute and was resident playwright with the Playhouse Repertory Theater from 1958 to 1964. Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (2013) is a feature-length documentary on the poet, directed by Stephen Silha, Eric Slade, and Dawn Logsdon.
 
Broughton died at home in Port Townsend, Washington, where he spent the final decade of his life. A selection of his papers is held at the Kent State University Department of Special Collections and Archives.