David Ossman, one of the four creators of The Firesign Theatre, three-time Grammy nominees, known as “The Beatles of Comedy,” has been publishing poetry in books, anthologies and magazines since his teen years.
The Sullen Art, his 1960-61 radio broadcasts with emerging writers included Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka and Denise Levertov, and has generated a scholarly collection (U. of Toledo Press, 2016).
He has co-authored four books of Firesign’s stage and radio plays, written a novel, The Ronald Reagan Murder Case and a memoir,
Dr. Firesign’s Follies, (both Bear Manor Press). He is finishing
a second memoir, Fighting Clowns.
An internationally-celebrated radio writer-director, best known for The War of the Worlds 50th Anniversary Production, Ossman has also produced major programs with John Cage, Ray Bradbury and Norman Corwin. His archives chronicle the Sixties, from Beat Poets to the first Renaissance Faire and the first Love-In and continue into the 21st Century.
As “George Tirebiter,” Ossman ran a national comedy campaign for U.S. Vice-President in 1976, performed the voice of “Cornelius” in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, and adapted Agatha Christie’s BBC Murders, Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus and an e. e. cummings cabaret for stage.
Most of the poems in Marshmallows & Despair were first heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, the Firesign’s gold-medal winning XM Satellite program, Fools In Space, and the web’s Radio Free Oz.
Ossman was born Dec. 6, 1936 in Santa Monica, California, graduated from Columbia University, and has lived on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and partner, Judith Walcutt, for thirty years. They have two sons, Orson, a filmmaker, and Preston, a musician.