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

 

Battery

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 a frame
inversely proportional to the square of
two distances apart
make us a family of celestial bodies that we
be one we ellipse about a warming sun
love that sun
dual nature of electrons heal us o heal us
I would come back not hide be in motion
I would attach myself to home again
I would be sister mother lover brother
I would be father I would be infant animal awesome
I would suffer & become extinct again
I would relight the earth with love
I would be still I would be silent & quake
I would be afraid but not for love for
the many manifestations glowing faces
Love the notes as they pour like water
love the water under your feet & when
you look look with eyes of love
all the layers, the ground under
your feet & under the ground
the imagined creatures
& above your feet the grasses the
watercress so fine to eat &
see the roots & bottom of pleasure
of moss look into pleasure the color
disappearing or changing the light
love the light & see the sky the scaffolds the planets
the length the width the distance
the congruity the parallels the fracture
love the body keep it elastic
keep it dancing rallying on its own
keep it safe from harm from red tape
& to those next to you be kind be quiet
be exalted be a charm a fusion be a battery
be insistent be an empire be a symphony
& in a moment’s gentle passing
& in a moment’s violent passing completely
be her be him be them, see the face beneath
the face & see with eyes of love, gaze straight
into eyes of love with eyes of love

On occasion of a Valentine’s Day reading,
the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery, NYC

From Fast-Speaking Woman (City Lights Publishers, 1996). Copyright © 1996 by Anne Waldman. Used with permission of the author.

From Fast-Speaking Woman (City Lights Publishers, 1996). Copyright © 1996 by Anne Waldman. Used with 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

 

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poem
you no longer believe in anything
movement of train, mauve waves
grammar's anomie
gets you down or
war at the back and crown of head
PsyOps, o chicken little the sky! the sky!
o the fallen sky an edge of blue
hanging but
still breathing those colors?
a garden broken & restored many times
how often trying to
poem

 

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