Joan Murray-Pepitone was born in Saint Francis, Kansas in 1932, and moved to Wichita with her parents during World War II. Joan went through Robinson Jr. High and East High School with the group that included Beat poet Michael McClure, artist / film-maker Bruce Conner, and painter / Microcosmos founder Corban LePell.
She was active in the Wichita counter-culture scene during the early 1960s and read her poetry at Moody’s Beanery along with such local writers as Charlie Plymell and Jim Mechem. She was the heroine “Fanchon” of several of Mechem’s novels. These works of Joan’s help to fill in the seldom seen feminine side of Beat period poetry, which reflects a distinctly different point of view from that of its male contemporaries.
She had two children, Kathy and Tony. She died at the age of 45, on September 1, 1977.