Anne Waldman and Laura Wright, editors, Beats at Naropa: An Anthology
Coffee House Press, 2009
I read Beats at Naropa exactly nine years ago, 2009. In my notes on the dialogues, essays, and interviews are the seeds of what became projects like Arab Writers in Translation Reading Group, People’s History of the United States Monthly Discussion, St. Louis Mindfulness Sangha, Share the Wealth, Dear Layla Welcome to Palestine, Writing to Wake Up courses on Demun Avenue and Spring Avenue, Brothers Karamazov Sessions at Sasha’s, Monthly Via Creativa Colloquium with Cami Kasmerchak for a Year, Chinese Poets in Translation Reading Group, approximately 700 cafe rendezvous, and 450-page draft of Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris, to name several.
It pleases me to recognize my deep indebtedness to the writers, poets, and artists in this volume who nurtured my vision. Accordingly, I savor provocations like the following—
Diane di Prima: There’s also: once you finish writing something it doesn’t belong to you. It has its own life and needs to go where it wants to go.
Anne Waldman: The scope and influence of the New American Poetry and its attendant offshoots and cross-fertilizations with other writers of the expansive poetry world is an Indra’s Net of inter-relatedness and is thus difficult to codify. Suffice it to say, however, that some of the writers most associated with the Beat movement were already very cognizant of and extremely well-read in Buddhist philosophy and psychology.
Diane di Prima: A lot of this is hit-and-run. It doesn’t have to be a life work. Read the rest of this entry »