Lewis MacAdams Dead

April 21, 2020

This was in the L.A. Times tonight:

Lewis MacAdams, founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River, stands in the river with a statue of a great blue heron on Aug. 3, 2010. (Jay L Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Lewis MacAdams, a poet and crusader for restoring the concrete Los Angeles River to a more natural state and co-founder of one of the most influential conservation organizations in California, has died. He was 75.

MacAdams, who died of complications related to Parkinson’s disease early Tuesday at a healthcare facility in Los Angeles, was a visionary figure who led the hardened army known as Friends of the Los Angeles River and mentored generations of activists in fights to reduce the damage along the 51-mile flood control channel hemmed by freeways, power lines and railroad yards. (READ MORE)

I had the good fortune to interview him in 2001 about his book Birth of the Cool. You can hear it here:

Lewis MacAdams Interview

Other interviews are linked at www.AmericanProphets.org

R.I.P. Poet Brother.


  1. Carol Edson

    Thank you for honoring this great activist for the environment and someone who had real vision for the river there. Also the write on you from Sam Hamill is exactly the man I see as you – plus your great sense of humor helps us all Paul!

  2. saundrafleming

    Great to hear about this poet activist’s leadership! thanks for always keeping us in the know Paul.

    You are massively, goddamn, culturally, awesomely, transcendent–hoping all is well with you.


  3. Edwin Varney

    Paul, Thanks for keeping us informed. You’re a great leader. Dan and i are working on an anthology of Poets from the Comox Valley – there are a lot of good writers from such a small geographic locale. i mention you and the Cascade poetry Festivals as one of the galvanating forces that has brought poetry in this area into focus. We had over 50 submissions and accepted 37 authors. I;m not sure when the book will be available but it is in the proofreading stage now. Hope all is well with you and Bakti and your family. Doesn’t look like a Festival this year in Cumberland.
    Your pal, Ed


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