Synopses & Reviews
As cultural absurdities, apathy-inspiring ambient noise, and political and ecological disasters threaten the 21st-century world, art’s role in engaging society and coalescing dissent becomes more apparent and more urgent. Civil Disobediences offers a manual for understanding poetry’s history and enacting its ultimate power to dismantle and recreate political and cultural realities.
Composed of essays, lectures and teaching materials by leading contemporary poets and scholars, this anthology explores the craft of poetry, as well as the history of poetic/political action in the U.S. and abroad, the development of ancient and modern poetic forms, the legacy of world-renowned poets, and the intersections between poetry and spirituality. It also provides concrete advice about bringing poetry into your local community and ensuring that “poetry is news that stays news.”
Editor Anne Waldman is an internationally acclaimed poet, performer, cultural activist, and distinguished -professor of poetics at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is the author of over 40 books, including Vow to Poetry: Essays, Interviews, and Manifestos and the recent collection In the Room of Never Grieve: New and Selected Poems 1985–2003.
Editor Lisa Birman is a poet and writer from Melbourne, Australia. Her books include Some Things—Poems and Translations, Deportation Poems, and the forthcoming possibly. Birman is the co-founder of Movie Star Press and co-director of Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program.
Contributors include: Helen Adam, Ammiel Alcalay, Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, Robin Blaser, Reed Bye, Jack Collum, Robert Creeley, Samuel R. Delany, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alan Gilbert, Allen Ginsberg, James Grauerholtz, Barbara Guest, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Anselm Hollo, Laird Hunt, Pierre Joris, Joanne Kyger, Ann Lauterbach, Harryette Mullen, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Michael Ondaatje, Sonia Sanchez, Edward Sanders, Eleni Sikelianos, Gary Snyder, Cole Swenson, Arthur Sze, Steven Taylor, Robert Tejada, Lorenzo Thomas and more.
"The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado was founded by poet Waldman and Allen Ginsberg in 1974; it functions as a non-academic pedagogical laboratory (Waldman prefers Hakim Bey's phrase, 'temporary autonomous zone') for synthesizing the energies loosed by the Beats, the poets of the Black Mountain School and other proponents of the literary counterculture, both ancient and modern. Its many teachers over the years have included Ted Berrigan, Robert Creeley, Joanne Kyger, Alice Notley and Michael Ondaatje, all of whom are represented in this culling of 40 presentations and colloquia from the school's famous Summer Writing Program. With a conscious nod toward Thoreau, Waldman in her introduction attempts to articulate a varied poetics of engagement for our time. The various essays, lectures and teaching materials are divided into six sections (including Ancestral Presences, Dharma Poetics, Revolutionary Poetics, and Gnosis & Aesthetics) and cover a wide range of subjects (including gender, the environment and Buddhism) in ways that are refreshingly theory-free and conversational (many of the pieces were first presented as talks), while remaining erudite and informative. Highlights include a transcription of Ted Berrigan's motormouth advice on 'how to be a poet' from a workshop class in 1978, Peter Warshall's presentation of the findings of the Maniacal Naturalist Society on the subject of 'together living' or symbiosis, and James Grauerholz's essay on William Burroughs and Zen. Taken as a whole, these various texts reaffirm the intersection of poetry and politics as a point where word and action can fuse powerfully." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Cultural Writing. Poetry. Composed of essays, lectures, and teaching materials by leading contemporary poets and scholars, this anthology explores the craft of poetry as well as sthe history of poetic/politcal action in the U.S. and abroad, the development of ancient and modern poetic forms, the legacy of world-reknowned poets, and the intersections between poetry and spirituality. It also provides concrete advice about bringing poetry into your local community and ensuring that "poetry is news that stays news." CIVIL DISOBEDIENCES offers a manual for understanding poetry's history and enacting its ultimate power to dismantle and recreate political and cultural realities.
With incisive energy, wit, and wisdom, these powerful essays explore the intersection between poetry and politics.
About the Author
Anne Waldman is an internationally renowned poet, performer, and Distinguished Professor of Poetics at Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is the co-editor of Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action and the author of over forty books, including In the Room of Never Grieve and Vow to Poetry: Essays, Interviews, and Manifestos. Lisa Birman is a poet and writer from Melbourne, Australia. Her chapbooks include Some Things - Poems and Translations and deportation poems, and her work has been published in Poetry Project Newsletter, FIR8, Bombay Gin, The Australian Writer and The Melbourne Poets Union Anthology. Her next chapbook, possibly, is forthcoming from Barefoot Books. Lisa is the co-founder of Movie Star Press and co-director of Naropa University's Summer Writing Program.