About this poet

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 Gossamurmur (Penguin, 2013); 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 (Penguin, 2004); In the Room of Never Grieve: New and Selected Poems, 1985–2003 (Coffee House Press, 2003); Dark Arcana / Afterimage or Glow (Heaven Bone Press, 2003), with photographs by Patti Smith; Vow to Poetry (Coffee House Press, 2001); Marriage: A Sentence (Penguin, 2000); Kill or Cure (Penguin, 1994); Iovis: All Is Full of Love (Coffee House Press, 1993); Helping the Dreamer: New and Selected Poems 1966–1988 (Coffee House Press, 1989); Fast Speaking Woman (City Lights Pocket Poets Series, 1974); and Baby Breakdown (Bobbs-Merrill, 1970). Her work can also be found in numerous films, videos, and sound recordings.

She is also editor of the anthologies The Beat Book (Shambhala, 1996) and The World Anthology: Poems From the St. Mark's Poetry Project (Bobbs-Merrill, 1969), and coeditor of Angel Hair Sleeps With A Boy In My Head (Granary Books, 2001) and Disembodied Poetics: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School (University of New Mexico Press, 1993). She has also co-translated Songs of The Sons & Daughters of Buddha (Shambhala, 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 National Literary Anthology Award, the Shelley Memorial Award for poetry, and grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a two-time winner of the International Poetry Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico. She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets 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.


Selected Bibliography

Gossamurmur (Penguin, 2013)
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 (Penguin, 2004)
In the Room of Never Grieve: New and Selected Poems, 1985–2003 (Coffee House Press, 2003)
Dark Arcana / Afterimage or Glow (Heaven Bone Press, 2003)
Vow to Poetry (Coffee House Press, 2001)
Marriage: A Sentence (Penguin, 2000)
Kill or Cure (Penguin, 1994)
Iovis: All Is Full of Love (Coffee House Press, 1993)
Helping the Dreamer: New and Selected Poems 1966–1988 (Coffee House Press, 1989)
Fast Speaking Woman (City Lights Pocket Poets Series, 1974)
Baby Breakdown (Bobbs-Merrill, 1970)


Multimedia

From the Image ArchiveAudio: Waldman reads "The Raven"

 

Under the Sun

Anne Waldman, 1945
Help me to cross the bardo's dangerous pathway...(Tibetan Book of the Dead)

John Cage was a new or short or longer pause suppliant. John Cage was a friend to brains of the two sexes, to Buddha, to eat him, destroy him. John Cage as John Cage was, sat down. Rest not, Tetrapod! John Cage was for us as poetics arrived in pure perfection and turned and never stammered to listen, John Cage was metabolic twin listener. Staunch, dark doom that never rides. But he does. John Cage was a founder. Surprise is never barren, all over the timing world. John Cage was a culture, gaps in the cave to know Neanderthal. Hours with him, a boon. So much of a story. Fathomless medium of laughter across a dangerous pathway. He was a mosoipholon domos. And under the sun, a test of. Texts enlarge the world. Equilibrium he is good at. Pianos will teach your own intervention. Pianos will reside in silence, pianos will loom and close. John Cage was metabolism for up his mind as he called it, strength, and a case for lines. Deference no solemnity. And pluck the cactus needles. Out of reach? John Cage was and never. Then drew it out. The sign would be that, the sign would be as John Cage was and drawn. Down on the tatami. For his purpose was not purpose to be uttered outside or inside but under the sun. A cool chamber, then. Find it. Sources of comfort more abstract. John Cage was visiting. Help, a perfect abstract to a visitor all over the timing world. To have been there, you had to have been there and then not but flying. Utterly inside. Utterly outside. Are you listening? John Cage sat and then turned. Every domestic duty could be heard in and out of Japan. Everything at this season goes out so light. Did she have time? She hadn't a single minute. This is what she thought as him. Twelve thoughts before breakfast. One a companion ever so expected a moment of pride. Two a found text. Three, story where she guessed the next moment. Four more kinds of him to have thought. Five to call Merce in the bardo over here. Six does one have greater a right to scandal than one is prepared to pay? Seven a form of communication influenced by delay and death. But held in archive. It was eight and the thought had a glamor of receiving itself. Nine, an enumeration. Ten a sharper calculation. If eleven "doesn't he tell you things?" ever stop? Twelve is not a limit, eyes during the wonderful dinner ambitious of variety.

Copyright © 2012 by Anne Waldman. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Anne Waldman. Used with permission of the author.

Anne Waldman

Anne Waldman

A prominent figure in the beat poetry generation, Anne Waldman has published over forty books of poetry and is the cofounder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

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