First Baby Poems by Anne Waldman with Collages by George Schneeman
|First Baby Poems||Anne Waldman with Collages by George Schneeman||BlazeVOX [books]|
With her warm subtle fleshy FIRST BABY POEMS Waldman creates an infant power that did not exist before in her words. These poems are complex joyful bioalchemy.
Whenever my friends give birth, I always send them the words of William Blake's "Infant Joy" ("What shall I call thee?"/'I happy am,/Joy is my name.'/Sweet joy befall thee!") and a xeroxed copy of Anne Waldman's FIRST BABY POEMS - long unavailable and now happily reprinted - for their delectation: twenty-nine joyful, lucent poems in all manner of styles and song. It is no matter of a "hard sell" to suggest that FIRST BABY POEMS is a "perfect gift" for those who are birthing and those who are busy being born. Sweet joy befall them.
Anne Waldman glows even in the throes of morning sickness at the Buddhist chateau. The mind empties as the belly expands, but the mind doesn't clear without a detailed expression of what it is letting go of, and the body doesn't fill without a rich chronicle of sensation. She takes us all the way to term and then, the baby gets the pantoums. What a retreat she takes us on. What a euphonic spell of sleep-deprived wonder she casts.
Poet Anne Waldman has been an active member of the “Outrider” experimental poetry community for over 40 years as writer, sprechstimme performer, professor, editor, “magpie” scholar, infra-structure and cultural/political activist. She grew up on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village where she still lives part-time, and bi-furcated to Boulder, Colorado in 1974 when she co-founded The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with Allen Ginsberg at Naropa University, the first Buddhist inspired school in the West. She currently serves as Artistic Director of its celebrated Summer Writing program. Allen Ginsberg has called her his “spiritual wife.” She is the author of over 40 books of poetry including Kill or Cure , Marriage: A Sentence , Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble, and the poetic text: Outrider which includes an interview with Ernesto Cardenal. Her most recent book-length poem is Manatee/Humanity (Penguin Poets 2009). She is also the author of the legendary Fast Speaking Woman (City Lights, San Francisco), now translated into Italian, Czech and French, as well as the 800 page epic Iovis trilogy (Coffee House Press). She is editor of The Beat Book (Shambhala Publications) and co-editor of The Angel Hair Anthology (Granary Books ), Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action (Coffee House) and Beats at Naropa (Coffee House 2009). A book of her poems translated into Chinese is forthcoming in 2009.
She has been a student of Buddhism since 1962, a feminist, and an ambassador for the oral revival of poetry, appearing on stages from Berlin to Caracas, from Mumbai to Beijing. She has been instrumental in encouraging poetry projects world-wide and has helped organize poetry programs in Vienna and Indonesia.
She has worked extensively with her son, musician and composer Ambrose Bye, for whom and “out of” whom FIRST BABY POEMS was written 27 years ago. Their “her poetry-his music-collaborations” include the CDs In the Room of Never Grieve , Eye of the Falcon and Matching Half . He has been a ‘muse' and inspiration.
“[Waldman] is the fastest, wittiest woman to run with the wolves in some time”- Ken Tucker, The New York Times.
· Paperback: 60 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 1-934289-91-4
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