poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

poetic forms

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 Trickster Feminism (Penguin, 2018); Voice's Daughter of a Heart Yet to be Born (Coffee House Press, 2016); Gossamurmur (Penguin, 2013); The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House Press, 2011); Manatee/Humanity (Penguin, 2009); 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); 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 American Book Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award, 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

Trickster Feminism (Penguin, 2018)
Voice's Daughter of a Heart Yet to be Born (Coffee House Press, 2016)
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

Audio: Waldman reads "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

 

from “denoument”

Resistance. Had to resist. Ward off. Deflect. Exorcise. Defy. Apotropaic experiments to shift tone & danger. Apo, away, trepein, to turn. Make the day an amulet. And there were women everywhere across the land, children women, and girl women and they women and fluid women and men who were women and boy women and women from the past on the tongues of mind & ear and images of women everywhere: ancestor women. Out on the streets. And everyone woman that day. I am woman they said. And it had already happened if you stopped to think. Winning in maenad heaven, but could earthly heart hold? The day said I am woman. The day got up and walked this far then paused to take stock. It was the last chance to be observant and cry and stomp and take stock. What worth if not be accountable. It would be theater, a spectacle, come pay, or come lie down in fluid bosom of woe mankind.

From Trickster Feminism (Penguin Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Anne Waldman. Used with the permission of the author.

From Trickster Feminism (Penguin Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Anne Waldman. Used with the 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. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2011 to 2016.

by this poet

poem
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

poem

All the world is one, like an angry deity’s essence dropped in
      the ocean
becoming monstrous: what happens Mumbai happens Paris
What happens Vicenza U.S. Base or Prodi, Kyoto Accord, XL
      Pipeline
advanced warplanes to Japan—what happens?  Egypt, Yemen,
      Syria
NASA’s

poem

“beautiful things fill every vacancy”

                                  for C. D. Wright

         filaments of her gift
persistent mysteries
     palpable consciousness
a world of naming
    of ablutions in time
        fighter instinct
action, the pressing in,
        closing in