Kenneth Patchen On December 13, 1911, Kenneth Patchen was born in Niles. A poor boy throughout his childhood, he spent his time playing football and working in a factory. He enjoyed publishing in his school newspaper, kept a diary from the age of twelve, and began reading Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Robert Burns, and Herman Melville. After high school, he moved to Wisconsin and attended Alexander Meiklejohn's Experimental College for one year and then the University of Wisconsin. Around this time, Patchen published a sonnet, "Permanence," in the New York Times.