Family and friends remember Farris

Richard Dye, John Farris’s grandson, played sax in the backyard of Bullet Space, where Farris’s ashes were scattered. Photos by Sarah Ferguson

More than 300 people packed into the basement of Judson Memorial Church on Fri., April 29, for a memorial tribute to the East Village poet John Farris, who died in January at 72. The event featured readings by family members, friends and past lovers, as well as a haunting solo by his grandson, Richard Dye, on sax. The following day, family members and friends gathered again at Bullet Space, the artists’ homestead on E. Third St. where Farris lived and died, to scatter his ashes under the maple tree in the backyard. Painter Nico Smith told the epic tale of how he and Farris once hitchhiked across America and then to Acapulco in 1963 on a quest for good weed. Farris got so stoned, he briefly took up fishing at a nearby village until Smith came and rescued him. At the close of the night, family members poured some of the remaining ashes in a circle around the fire pit, where a fire was lit.

— Sarah Ferguson


John Farris’s daughters Sienna Farris, right, and Bibi Duxbury in Bullet Space’s backyard at the memorial.


Artist Nico Smith told an epic tale of a trip he and John Farris took to Mexico.


Steve Cannon, of A Gathering of the Tribes, center, at the memorial. Farris’s desk, heaped with a pile of pages, and his floor light evoked the late poet’s spirit.


A memorial to the poet.

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