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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 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), 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 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

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 Offworld

this was a vision: humans
create
world emerging from an egg
a shepherdess is our voice victim of sorrow
victim of sorrow is our own mind
took our stations to the street
buildings on fire, create the anterior mindset
anywhere out of this world

there was a phony adolescent incident: “Jim Morrison stripped down
as the Antinomians mocked Mormon pedagogy”

worlds in collision, dreams logic

a raid, a disaster
Blake sits naked in his garden
devotees depart in a senseless frenzy

you might chisel your way into existence
and the sweat of your labor become rain

you might be Nature chuckling back at herself

who completes you?

and this is the story:

four strums of a tetrachord

innocence turns gods into stones
a good idea
Aristharchus had an idea once too

about the sun
that it would be fine without him

syntaxis, Almagest
Mikołaj Kopernik

astronomers always have their day

exact curve of feeling isn’t identifiable yet
perhaps it will come
in study of parallel universes

imitate me she sang, singing in harmony with her own self
enclosures within enclosures. New planets and stars

what wasn’t said of Thel didn’t tell you didn’t warn you of Thel wouldn’t do it
what if they said Thel you would be hampered you would be diminished

microcosmic paratactic
small inkling this would end. soon.
in special language enclosed
without ties, a lover ties you down
adolescent idea of “orienting”
and the gypsy reads all our getaway cards

without religion but better than that
harsh discourse is mosaic intention
shattering all downplay stress mode tesserae
but you will rise in the house of choosing
you are all content today, gauzy is another
length of human
companion to a 1,000 year plan
abundant inflections complicate the strife
tone is tautological
taut is my generation
we had enough of it today
we are author and roam as such
as such discern to listen
do we have tomorrow?
you are divine
hypnagogic playmate, Thel
and your dangerous
withdrawal of my study plan
willful in origin is
unguarded, help me out here

Anne Waldman, "Offworld" from Voice's Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born. Copyright © 2016 by Anne Waldeman. Used with permission of Coffee House Press, www.coffeehousepress.org.

Anne Waldman, "Offworld" from Voice's Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born. Copyright © 2016 by Anne Waldeman. Used with permission of Coffee House Press, www.coffeehousepress.org.

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

Why cannot the ear be closed to its own destruction?
—William Blake

Won’t come alive ever yet or again? In the mind of Endtime it looks like this: shell, volute, Tabriz, eddies, and tides. Flowers wilt. When you wake, observe the unmitigated trials and tribulations of these tossed

2
poem

 

Click the icon above to listen to this audio poem.

2
poem

I’m a rock woman
I’m a horse woman
I’m a monkey woman
I’m a chipmunk woman
I’m a mountain woman
I’m a blue mountain woman
I’m a marsh woman
I’m a jungle woman
I’m a tundra woman
I’m the lady in the lake
I’m the lady in the sand
 

            water that