The Los Angeles Times Book Review counted Technicians of the Sacred among the hundred most-recommended books published in late twentieth-century America. Hailed by Robert Creeley as “both a deeply useful book and an unequivocal delight,” this landmark anthology has educated and inspired generations of poets, artists, musicians, and other readers, exposing them to the multiple possibilities of poetry throughout the world. Juxtaposing “primitive” and archaic works of art from many cultures with each other and with experimental poetry, Jerome Rothenberg contends that literature extends beyond specific temporal and geographic boundaries, and must be understood globally, cutting across space and time. A half-century since its original publication and more timely than ever, this revised and expanded third edition provides readers with a wealth of newly gathered and translated texts from reinvigorated indigenous cultures, bringing the volume to the present and further extending the range and depth of what we recognize and read as poetry.
Jerome Rothenberg is a poet and an internationally acclaimed anthologist. His more than fifty books include the anthology Poems for the Millennium, coedited with Pierre Joris. He is Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
“No one taught me more about poetry than Jerome Rothenberg. Technicians of the Sacred is the greatest anthology of poetry ever created, 'primitive' or otherwise.”—Nick Cave
“A seminal world wisdom text . . . This book has elucidated readers for several generations and sent them to indigenous and shamanic sources as deep orature. . . . This is a spiritual book; a book to survive with."— Anne Waldman
“Jewish lore, Amerindian poetics, Ethnopoetics, Contemporary world poetics, International sacred poetics . . . [Rothenberg’s] certainly done me a favor in collecting specimens in [the] above categories and putting them in all our hands for immediate inspirational or teaching use.”—Allen Ginsberg
“When Technicians of the Sacred was published in 1968 it offered nothing less than a redefinition of what poetry could be . . . It remains an incomparable and inspiring source, a perpetual spur to further invention.”—Geoffrey O'Brien