Trickster Feminism

2018 • 160 pages • ISBN: 9780143132363 • $20 • Poetry
Penguin Poets

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An edgy, visionary collection that meditates on gender, existence, passion and activism.Mythopoetics, shape shifting, quantum entanglement, Anthropocene blues, litany and chance operation play inside the field of these intertwined poems, which coalesced out of months of protests with some texts penned in the streets. Anne Waldman looks to the imagination of mercurial possibility, to the spirits of the doorway and of crossroads, and to language that jolts the status quo of how one troubles gender and outwits patriarchy. She summons Tarot’s Force Arcana, the passion of the suffragettes, and various messengers and heroines of historical, hermetic, and heretical stance, creating an intersectionality of lived experience: class, sexuality, race, politics all enter the din. These are experiments of survival.


Trickster Feminism looks at contemporary understandings of gender, feminism, and activism, as well as how poetry is capable of responding to all three.” E. Ce Miller for Bustle

Trickster Feminism arrives in the nick of time as a lightning strike of wisdom that illuminates this moment in history. Anne Waldman’s voice is epic, mythic and above all, wild. She gives us direct courage from the force of her great heart. Her words: sacred text.” –Terry Tempest Williams

“Wit, real teaching and speed all meet up here. Words fall out as the pace quickens, it’s like a clown car bumping into itself, then suddenly the poet takes charge, and backs us right into a confetti of deceptively wacky oracular pronouncements. This is such a read. Trickster Feminism is an awesomely serious book, Anne Waldman’s poetry being nothing but the eye and sound of prophecy itself.” – Eileen Myles

Trickster Feminism spins wily counter-logics and connection in lyrics and chants supple enough to face pervasive death–of friends, the body count in our century’s nameless global war, and even the planet’s epochal decease. Waldman’s poems enact insubordination, a kind of pinwheel parataxis, to offer a necessary second sight. We are summoned to peer past appearances, past the sense of square one beginnings and ineluctable dead ends. Instead, we are invited to raise our gaze afresh and to rise to our feet.” – Erica Hunt

“Anne Waldman’s passionate, quick-witted poetry doesn’t back down or away from anything, outer or inner, big or small, and confronts an exceptionally wide range of experience and feeling.  Playful, ingenious, edgy, vital in its feminism and in its humanity, Trickster Feminism is a gathering (to paraphrase Frank O’Hara) of political meditations in a time of emergency.  One comes away from her poetry stimulated and—rarest of all these days—hopeful.”  – Charles North

“Caught in the uncanny glint of the trickster gaze, this book contains a masterful, instructive set of texts. Easily a classic on par with Diane Di Prima’s Revolutionary Letters. There is a torn and highly addictive edge to its line, a restless counterpoint that feels in rhythm with our current struggle.” – Cedar Sigo

“An essential poet of our time, Anne Waldman hears the centuries rousted from their sleep in Trickster Feminism.  She sees how the cosmic plight can be turned around in the concealed fragility of late capitalism, and she never fears standing inside the entanglements.” —CAConrad