Anne Waldman has been an active member of the “Outrider” experimental poetry community, a culture she has helped create and nurture for over four decades as writer, editor, teacher, performer, magpie scholar, infra-structure curator, and cultural/political activist. Her poetry is recognized in the lineage of Whitman and Ginsberg, and in the Beat, New York School, and Black Mountain trajectories of the New American Poetry. But has raised the bar as a feminist, activist and powerful performer.
She remains a highly original “open field investigator” of consciousness, committed to the possibilities of radical shifts of language and states of mind to create new modal structures and montages of attention. Her work is energetic, passionate, panoramic, fierce at times. She is the author of more than 60 books, including the mini-classic Fast Speaking Woman, published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books in San Francisco, a collection of essays entitled Vow to Poetry and several selected poems editions including Helping the Dreamer, Kill or Cure and In the Room of Never Grieve. She has concentrated on the long poem as a cultural intervention with such projects as Marriage: A Sentence, Structure of The World Compared to a Bubble, Manatee/Humanity, which is a book-length rhizomic meditation on evolution and endangered species, and Gossamurmur a meditation on Archive. Her monumental anti-war feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment, a 25 year project, won the Pen Center Award for Poetry. Waldman’s major publishers are Penguin Poets and Coffee House Press. Her most recent books are Sanctuary (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020), Songs of the Sons and Daughters of Buddha: Enlightenment Poems from the Theragatha and Therigatha (translated by Andrew Schelling and Anne Waldman, Shambhala Publications, 2020), Trickster Feminism (Penguin Books, 2018), Extinction Aria (Pied Oxen, 2017), and Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet To Be Born (2016). Her forthcoming books include Bard, Kinectic (Coffee House Press, 2022) and Mesopotopia (Penguin, 2023).
Photo by Kai Sibley.