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Recorded at the Chancellors Reading, Poets Forum 2014. NYU Skirball Center.

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

 

Problem-Not-Solving

Standing in front of the Canelleto of Venice’s “ghetto vecchio”, “ghetto”  the word for “foundry,”contemplating those arms and harms. I sit down in ghetto, I sit here in ghetto vecchio.

And metal was cast in the dream of the ghetto and metal was forged for cannons 1390 in “ur” in “pre” in the nightmare of ghetto and laboratory of ghetto a metal mentality for it takes a long harm a long arm a long hatching this mentality of force of problem-not-solving your ghetto and in the name of decree and forging a metal mentality with harming arms and where you can live under a low ceiling where you can live and problem-not-solving 5,000 in a crammed room un-dream it now of your nightmare not allowed into the light of other campos and canals your arms held in not able to reach out across a map a city divided and problem-not-solving.  Un-dream, un-dream  problem-not-solving the nightmare of ghetto or problem-not-solving your nightmare of ghetto of “ur” time of this ghetto. You want to stretch your human fleshly arms outside the walls toward campos and canals. You  want to stretch your rare fleshly arms out of here reach out of here reach out of harm’s way  towards campos and canals but you can only live here in this curfew  of “ur” time this “pre” time, before the dawn until Napoleon allows you can you can live elsewhere, o please step outside please step aside you say to  Palestine, you who were in pre-“ur” pre-dreamtime ghetto astride campos and canals. You are my problem I am not your problem grazie. And under Austrian rule come back inside ghetto and this “ur” nightmare 1797.  This “pre” dawn of “state” of arsenal. Of Palestine. Old  way back “ur”-Palestine, what of its rip and tears. Its tears and weeping its ghetto. I mark this for you I say this for you (tears and more weeping), carved in stone in metal of poem-time in scripture of 21st century winds. And then the dream of a full fledged fulltime arsenal  tears and weeping toward metal what do we do what do we have to or why have we to do air-strikes problem-not-solving 13 dead again in  ghetto Palestine when then arsenal  of problem-not-solving is long range rocket revenge toward Ashkelon no one hurt in Ashkelon 10 kilometers north of Gaza. O remember Gaza and then revenge in air strikes 13 dead in Gaza, ripped apart in Gaza and the fine elliptical gallery for women only, sit here, my dear downed dead decimated sister my one next to me in this “ur” dream nightmare of ghetto and arsenal and Palestine. Describe the body parts you sifted from the trees down from the scattered trees of Zion of Palestine. Three wells of Zion, the scattered trees of Zion, the miracles and tribulations of Zion of Palestine. The three ways to un-dream the problem. The dear dead body parts. Enter here the dream the nightmare of ghetto and the end of ghetto.
And say 3 three times:

I will not do to them what has been done to me.
   I will not do to them what has been done to me.

      I will not do to them what has been done to me.

What to do what to do as the merchant stranger Shakespeare  ghetto merchant works the Banco Rosso “real and tangible” or other side hits Sderot  with Grad rockets from Iran.  Hit with metal mentality forged in metal. Hit the word “Sderot” hit  the word “Grad” hit with harm your problem-not-solving scary alliances 4 boys between 8 and 12 dear dead body parts east of Jabaliya un-dream the dead take back the word “dead”. Not a jubilee. And more in Gaza and 2,000 in ghetto Gaza. This is the old “ur” held vision of unsolved Zion and now the guards in the nightmare that is new century inventory of the state of arsenals and the unsolved now divided Palestine building of more arsenals in the arms that harm and reach out and harm human and fleshly. I will sit here I will sit here and sound here and reach out arms human and fleshly, to ghetto to Gaza.

Originally published in The Iovis Trilogy (Coffee House Press, 2011). Copyright © by Anne Waldman. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Originally published in The Iovis Trilogy (Coffee House Press, 2011). Copyright © by Anne Waldman. Reprinted 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
sing manatee, manatee (you’d better praise all you can he said) all the trembling day


& passing before her captivity
		reiterating a chant of manatee
I began

the manatee is found in shallow slow-moving rivers

the manatee moves in estuaries moves in saltwater bays

the manatee in moving moves
poem

A trio of instruments you love the notes
indissectible & extending small rockets of delight
force to love, be loved, love accelerating
love momentum, the love to travel
we will never agree the world contains
so much phenomena we’ll put on glasses
abstract it give it structure make

poem

 

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