Poetry News

Anne Waldman's Trickster Feminism Reviewed in NYT

By Harriet Staff
Anne Waldman, Trickster Feminism, cover

Anne Waldman's new book, Trickster Feminism (Penguin, 2018) is given its review-due in the current New York Times Book Review. "The pervading mood in 'Trickster Feminism' is of a piece with our national mood: gloom-filled, sorrowing, yet occasionally threaded with hope," writes Daisy Fried. More:

“And the day would be proud of itself going on as if it hadn’t already collapsed, had not been destroyed, riven, all the people mad and metabolically downcast,” begins the prose sequence “denouement,” which responds to Donald Trump’s election. “People were coming out to the street. In the way they wanted to see where the big guy lived and boasted so as to mock the event. … How ugly would it go?” Later, Waldman tells of a woman “mumbling mantras … as she circles the tower. … Om Man Be Gone … Om Con Con Be Gone,” and laments a lack of power to move ethical clocks forward.”

Waldman is associated with 20th-century experimental writers who have energetically defined themselves against what she calls “the official verse literati culture academic mainstream.” A longtime left-wing political activist, she has written dozens of works of poetry and given hundreds of performances. She co-founded, with Allen Ginsbergand Diane di Prima, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. A devotee of Tibetan Buddhism, she seems to have centered her life and work on the idea that poetry and language are a “tribal responsibility,” summoning a powerful kind of political magic.

Over the decades, Waldman has written many long poems. Her urge is epic...

Read on at the NYT.

Originally Published: December 14th, 2018