A prominent figure in the beat poetry generation, Anne Waldman, was born in Millville, New Jersey on April 2, 1945, and grew up on MacDougal Street in New York City. She received her BA from Bennington College in 1966. From 1966 until 1978 she ran the St. Mark's Poetry Project, reading with fellow poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. Immediately following her departure from St. Mark's, she and Ginsberg founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
She has published over forty books of poetry, including The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House Press, 2011), Manatee/Humanity (Penguin, 2009), Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble (2004), In the Room of Never Grieve: New and Selected Poems, 1985-2003 (Coffee House Press, 2003), Dark Arcana / Afterimage or Glow (2003), with photographs by Patti Smith, Vow to Poetry (2001), Marriage: A Sentence (2000), Kill or Cure (1994), Iovis: All is Full of Love (1993), Helping the Dreamer: New and Selected Poems 1966-1988 (1989), Fast Speaking Woman (1974), and Baby Breakdown (1970). Her work can also be found in numerous films, videos, and sound recordings.
She is also editor of the anthologies The Beat Book (1996) and The World Anthology: Poems from the St. Mark's Poetry Project (1969), and co-editor of Angel Hair Sleeps With A Boy In My Head (2001) and Disembodied Poetics: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School (1993). She has also co-translated Songs of The Sons & Daughters of Buddha (1996), a book of traditional Buddhist scripture originally in Sanskrit and Prakrit, with Andrew Schelling, among others.
Waldman has received numerous awards and honors for her poetry, including The Dylan Thomas Memorial Award, The Poets Foundation Award, The National Literary Anthology Award, and The Shelley Memorial Award for poetry. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. She is a two-time winner of the International Poetry Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico. She was elected an Academy Chancellor in 2011.
Currently Waldman is the director of the MFA Writing and Poetics program at the Naropa Institute. She divides her time between Boulder, Colorado and Greenwich Village, New York City.