1991. First Printing; Floating Island, Pt. Reyes Station
Limited Edition (1/2000) Signed by di Prima on the title page.
With calligraphy and cover illustration by the famed Kobun Chino Roshi.
“I spent the summer of 1988 at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center attending what is known as “Seminary” a three month program of study and meditation.
These poems are the product of that effort.
Di Prima gives an intimate and yet forceful recital from her books Loba and Pieces of a Song. They include April Fool Birthday Poem for Grandpa, Rant, Poem of Refusals, The Beach, Letter to Jeanne (at Tassajara), Long Sequence from Loba, Poem in Praise of My Husband, More or Less Love Poems & Song for Baby-O Unborn. Her poems are both personal and political. (55 min, 1998)
Recollections of My Life as a Woman
The New York Years
Pieces of a Song
Publisher Last Gasp
Publication Date February 2007
Revolutionary Letters is an American classic arising from the utopian anarchism for which Diane di Prima has long been a spokesperson. The first of these poems were written during the active days of the late 1960s, and published by the underground press throughout the U.S. and abroad. They were also used as guerrilla theatre. Diane read the early poems from a flatbed truck in New York City and later performed them on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco with Peter Coyote and the Diggers.
Four editions of the Letters were published by City Lights between 1971 and 1980. Each new printing contained “Letters” written in the intervening period. The new poems in this edition address some of the history of the past twenty years, and were written as the various occasions arose.
“Diane di Prima is the original outlaw poet; she wrote herself a wild, authentic life without regard for the rules during an era when being such a female creature was truly transgressive. Her writing is crucial as history; as literature it is enduring and bewitching. She illuminates the female experience while simultaneously bowing to its final, holy mystery.” -Michelle Tea.
“A few people like her get made every few thousand years, in order to highlight the dullness of the rest.” -Andrei Codrescu.
Diane DiPrima is the author of 42 books of poetry and prose, including Pieces of a Song (City Lights, 1990). Her work has been translated into at least twenty languages. She has received grants for her poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, she received an Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the National Poetry Association.
Memoirs of a Beatnik
Publisher Penguin (Non-Classics)
Publication Date: August, 1998
Long regarded as an underground classic for its gritty and unabashedly erotic portrayal of the Beat years, Memoirs of a Beatnik is a moving account of a powerful woman artist coming of age sensually and intellectually in a movement dominated by a small confederacy of men, many of whom she lived with and loved. Filled with anecdotes about her adventures in New York City, Diane di Prima’s memoir shows her learning to “raise her rebellion into art,” and making her way toward literary success. Memoirs of a Beatnik offers a fascinating narrative about the courage and triumphs of the imagination.
San Francisco Beat
Publisher City Lights Publishers
Publication Date: May, 2001
San Francisco Beat is an essential archive of the Beat Generation, a rich moment in a fortunate place. America-somnolent, conformist, and paranoid in the 1950s-was changed forever by a handful of people who refused an existence of drudgery and enterprise, opting instead for a life of personal, spiritual, and artistic adventure. In these intimate, free-wheeling conversations, a baker’s dozen of the poets of San Francisco talk about the scene then and now, the traditions of poetry, and about anarchism, globalism, Zen, the Bomb, the Kabbalah, and the Internet.
Thirty years ago, poet David Meltzer interviewed his poet friends for The San Francisco Poets. Now in San Francisco Beat he has combined these classic interviews with recent follow-up. San Francisco Beat features major new interviews with Philip Lamantia, Joanne Kyger, Gary Snyder, Jack Hirschman, Diane di Prima, Jack Micheline, Philip Whalen, and David Meltzer himself.
David Meltzer is the author of many books of poetry, including Tens, The Name, Arrows: Selected Poetry 1957-1992, and No Eyes: Lester Young. He is the editor of Birth, The Secret Garden, Reading Jazz, and Writing Jazz, among other collections. His agit-smut fictions include The Agency Trilogy. Meltzer read poetry at the Jazz Cellar in the 1950s and in the 1960s fronted the band, Serpent Power. Meltzer teaches poetics at New College of California.
Table of Contents/Interviewed Authors
Diane di Prima (1999)
William Everson (1971)
Remembering Everson (1999)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti I (1969)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti II (1999)
Jack Hirschman (1998)
Joanne Kyger (1998)
Philip Lamantia (1998)
Michael McClure I (1971)
Michael McClure II (1999)
David Meltzer (1999)
Jack Micheline (1994)
Kenneth Rexroth (1971)
Remembering Rexroth (1971)
Gary Snyder (1999)
Lew Welch (1971)
Philip Whalen (1999)
The Other Side of the Postcard
Publisher City Lights Foundation Books
Publication Date: May, 2005
In conjunction with the San Francisco Public Library, poet laureate devorah major made a public appeal for poems that explored the realities of people’s lives in a city as tough and tragic as it is beautiful and exhilarating. This anthology collects the best of this poetry by celebrated writers, schoolchildren with fresh eyes, homeless people and students, perceptive elders and working people from every ethnicity and class. A cross section of the city’s voices offers a passionately experienced response to the city, the nation and the world.
devorah major is an African American poet, novelist, essayist and teacher. Among her books are Brown Glass Windows, Open Weave, street smarts and Where River Meets Ocean.