Anne Waldman 2008
Supererogatory : A Menu Poem
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 , Red Noir , and the poetic text: Outrider . 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 collaborations include the CDs In the Room of Never Grieve , Eye of the Falcon and Matching Half , also with Akilah Oliver. He has been a constant muse and inspiration for her own work.
“[Waldman] is the fastest, wittiest woman to run with the wolves in some time”- Ken Tucker, The New York Times. "