Hailed by Robert Creeley as “both a deeply useful book and an unequivocal delight” and by the LA Times Book Review as one of the hundred most recommended American books of the late 20th century, Jerome Rothenberg’s landmark anthology Technicians of the Sacred 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 avant-garde and experimental poetry, Jerome Rothenberg contends that literature extends beyond specific temporal and geographic boundaries, while acting as a retort to those who would call that larger humanity into question. A half-century since its original publication, this revised and expanded third edition provides readers with a wealth of newly gathered and translated texts from recently reinvigorated indigenous cultures, bringing the volume into the present and further extending the range and depth of what we recognize and read as poetry.
Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally acclaimed poet and anthologist. His more than ninety books include the multi-volume Poems for the Millennium, coedited with Pierre Joris, Jeffrey Robinson and John Bloomberg-Rissman. 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
“This book has elucidated readers for several generations and sent them to indigenous and shamanic sources as deep orature. . . More radically timely than ever in a tormented era of xenophobia and racism. . . 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