Tuesday, May 11, 6 pm
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Dia is pleased to announce the upcoming events in its Readings in Contemporary Poetry series. This season, instead of pairing two poets for an evening, curator Vincent Katz has chosen a format that pays tribute to five exemplary poets. For each event, a small group of readers will pay homage to one of the featured poets, followed by a reading by that poet. The featured poet for this event is Anne Waldman.
The tribute readers for this event will be Emma Gomis, Patricia Spears Jones, Rachel Levitsky, and Eleni Sikelianos.
Anne Waldman is a nomadic explorer of realms of language and experience. Following in the lineages, she also disrupts them by going farther afield, respectful, knowledgeable, but not content to stick to the guns inherited from her largely male predecessors, yet still knowing enough not to jettison them completely. First forays unimaginably diverse, early 20s at Berkeley Poetry Conference initiated a life in publishing, and shortly after that, presenting poetry. Waldman has always been at the core of the poetry economy, first as Director of the Poetry Project in the East Village, then as one of the founders, with Allen Ginsberg and others, of Naropa Institute, now Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado, sharing one’s version of the lineage as prime commitment. Her poetry too has traveled, from earliest, clear-spoken, young-woman-about-town visions, already tight with cohort, to ever-shamanic investigations into far reaches of indigenous and non-human life, conscience continually calling out human responsibility for various Anthropocene crises. Her mind-expanding experiments include numerous collaborations with visual artists, musicians, including her son, Ambrose Bye, and nephew, Devin Waldman, filmmakers, including her husband, Ed Bowes, and many poets. She has been exemplary in her energy as well as her devotion, one of the few contemporary poets to have composed an epic poem, her Iovis trilogy. She is prolific as composer and performer of word and sound, activist thrusting against the negative energies of hatred and incomprehension. She is one of our great leaders, someone we need so much at this time, and for all time.
Vincent Katz, May 11, 2021
Anne Waldman grew up on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. Waldman is a poet, performer, professor, editor, and cultural activist. From 1966 until 1978, Waldman ran the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York City, and in 1974, together with Allen Ginsberg, cofounded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She is the author of more than forty books and has concentrated on the long poem as a cultural intervention with such projects as Marriage: A Sentence (2000) and Structure of The World Compared to a Bubble (2004) and the anti-war feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (2011). Anthologies that she has edited include Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan (1991), The Angel Hair Anthology (2001), Civil Disobediences (2004), and Beats at Naropa (2009). She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and was appointed a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Waldman is the artistic director of the summer writing program at Naropa University and divides her time between Boulder and New York.