Bard, Kinetic

2023 • 6 X 9 • 400 pp • ISBN: 978-1-56689-669-6
Coffee House Press

The expansive, countercultural, and wildly prolific life of celebrated poet Anne Waldman, in her own words.

In Bard, Kinetic, Anne Waldman assembles a layered compendium of essays, letters, poems, and interviews that forms a portrait of her life and praxis as a groundbreaking poet. Waldman charts her journey through a maelstrom of radical artistic activity, from growing up in Greenwich Village to creative partnership with Allen Ginsberg and touring with Bob Dylan. She recalls founding the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church and later the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and she discusses the political and artistic philosophies that guide her activities as writer, activist, performer, instigator, and Buddhist practitioner. Throughout Bard, Kinetic Waldman pays homage to her friends and collaborators, many of whom are no longer with us, including Amiri Baraka, Lou Reed, John Ashbery, Kathy Acker, and Diane di Prima. Waldman’s experiences serve as a guide for others committed to making the world a conscious and conscientious place that soars with the discourse and activism of poetry and poethics.

Bard, Kinetic is a multifaceted monument to the force of her revolutionary music…. Bard, Kinetic puts readers on the path to recognizing poetry as numinous mutual aid, as an action that reaches across geography, species, and time. To paraphrase Waldman’s description of Frank O’Hara, the portrait of her that emerges in Bard, Kinetic is this: Anne glimmers. Her heart could be our heart.” —The Poetry Foundation

“Anne Waldman has tirelessly cleared the path for many of us for decades. She is our epitome of the word ‘onward,’ which means to move forward in a continuous motion, never stopping because surrender is out of the question! Waldman’s extensive study of the global perception of the Sixth Extinction through the lives of poets comes to light in this powerful new book, which is a record of the cycles of cosmic transit! She writes, ‘Feeling everyone’s kinetics in that zone. But also all together swimming in a database. Imagine.’”

“Kinetic, yes. Prophetic also. Boundlessly generous, of course. This is the Anne Waldman I know. What a pleasure it is to find everything here: every ancestral memory, every important question, every exhortation to stay human in an inhumane century. If you are curious about the value of poets and poetry, peer into this magic mirror, drink from this deep and wide and entirely remarkable archive.”
—Lisa Jarnot

Bard, Kinetic spins ferociously, shaking off the patriarchy’s layers of concealment one after another. For Gertrude Stein, another towering figure in the Outrider lineage, ‘writing should go on.’ For Anne Waldman, it must do so as well, but further than the page and into the world. Goading us is just one of her gifts. To read her is to be humbled by the breadth of her vocation, to be jolted into alertness.
—Mónica de la Torre