The Enduring Power of Technicians of the Sacred, Fifty Years Later

Jerome Rothenberg at UC Press, seated beside his collections: “Technicians of the Sacred” and “Symposium of the Whole.”

Jerome Rothenberg changed the course of poetics with the opening statement to his landmark anthology, Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries From Africa, America, Asia, Europe & Oceania: “Primitive means complex.”

Fifty years later, Technicians of the Sacred endures, inspiring and educating readers with its ability to expand the possibilities of poetry throughout the world. In the preface to the new 50th Anniversary Edition, Rothenberg situates the book in the present and affirms poetry’s power in making sense of our shared humanity in especially fraught times:

We have witnessed an upsurge of new nationalisms & racisms, directed most often against the diversity of mind & spirit of which the earlier Technicians was so clearly a part. To confront this implicit, sometimes rampant ethnic cleansing, even genocide, there is the need for a kind of omnipoetics that tests the range of our threatened humanities wherever found & looks toward an ever greater assemblage of words & thoughts as a singular buttress against those forces that would divide & diminish us.

Jerome Rothenberg with Nick Cave.

Many readers—among them, notable poets, musicians, and artists—have been profoundly influenced by Technicians of the Sacred, including the musician Nick Cave, who says, “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.” While the poet Anne Waldman says: “Technicians of the Sacred is a seminal world wisdom text, a vibrating compendium of poetry and exegesis that reanimates poetry’s efficacy in the world. More radically timely than ever in a tormented era of xenophobia, racism, post-truth, and psychic crisis when words are abased. This is a spiritual book; a book to survive with.” Poet and environmentalist Homero Aridjis says it is “a unique, groundbreaking and essential guide to humankind’s spiritual relationship with Earth and the divine,” while Michael McClure says it as only Michael McClure can: “Jerome Rothenberg is a DNA spaceman exploring the mammal caves of Now.”

Eddie Vedder with the 50th anniversary edition of “Technicians of the Sacred.”

Other artists who have found inspiration in the book include Eddie Vedder (pictured here with a zydeco washboard vest that Rothenberg gave him) and the late singer and bibliophile Warren Zevon. Zevon’s extensive library rests in the care of his ex-wife, Crystal Zevon, who says: “When Warren moved in with me in 1971, Technicians of the Sacred was the only book he brought with him. Our early relationship is indelibly marked by Warren reading to me from that book, and it continued as a favorite pastime in years that followed.”

UC Press staff were lucky to have Rothenberg (along with wife and co-editor of the 2016 collection Symposium of the Whole, Diane) visit our offices recently for a fascinating presentation on his background, his coining of “ethnopoetics,” and the publishing history of Technicians of the Sacred. He followed with a wonderful reading of a few selections from the 50th anniversary edition, including “Essie Parrish in New York.” The poem appears in a new section called “Survivals and Revivals” in which Rothenberg explores the resurgence of indigenous poetry. Rothenberg explained that Essie Parrish was a healer from the Kashaya Pomo tribe, and as she spoke in 1972 at the New School in New York, poet George Quasha transcribed her narrative of a dream-vision. Watch the video below:

Celebrate the 50th anniversary edition with 30% off. Enter promo code 17M6662 at checkout.

 


Celebrating National Poetry Month with Technicians of the Sacred

Borneo, Indonesia; 40,000 BC

Rooting poetry beyond location and historical time, Jerome Rothenberg’s seminal compilation Technicians of the Sacred has educated and inspired poets, artists, musicians, and other readers—from Allen Ginsberg to Nick Cave—for generations, exposing them to the multiple possibilities of poetry throughout the world. A half-century since its original publication, this landmark anthology is more timely than ever, maintaining its vital place in our culture, and we are proud to be publishing the 50th anniversary edition this August. The following excerpts reveal the ongoing histories and intersections of language, land, and community through the lens of poetry.

From his 2017 preface, Rothenberg writes:

Something happened to me, now a full half century in the past, that has shaped my ambition for poetry up until the very present. Not to focus too much on myself, it was a discovery shared with others around me, of the multiple hidden sources & the multiple presences of poetry both far & near. I don’t remember clearly where—or when—it started, but once it got under my skin—our skin, I mean to say—that which we could hope to know as poetry drew in whole worlds we hadn’t previously imagined. Nothing was too low—or high—to be considered, but the imagining mind & voice, once the doors of perception were opened or cleansed, were everywhere we looked.

This also tied in to the search to create new forms of writing & thinking & to bring to light experiences & actions heretofore closed to us: a move that began with an earlier avant-garde & that we now repossessed/ reclaimed as our own. A result of that—from the beginning, I thought— was an expansion of what we could now recognize as poetry, for which our inherited definitions had proven to be inadequate. In that sense that which was traditional in other parts of the world or buried & outcast in our own came across as new & unforeseen when placed within our own still too narrow framework. For myself, the discoveries, once I opened up to them, proved as rich in possibilities as what we & our predecessors had been creating for our own place & time. That so much of this came from an imagined “outside” or from long outcast & subterranean, often brutally repressed traditions was evident even before we named them as such.

Revised and expanded with newly gathered and translated texts from reinvigorated indigenous cultures, this volume brings to the fore the range and depth of what we recognize and read as poetry. From oral tradition and song to the written word and beyond.

Juxtaposing “primitive” and archaic works of art from many cultures with each other and with experimental poetry, Rothenberg contends that literature extends beyond specific temporal and geographic boundaries, and must be understood globally, cutting across space and time. The first poem from the book reads:

Genesis I

Water went they say. Land was not they say. Water only then, mountains were not, they say. Stones were not they say. Trees were not they say. Grass was not they say. Fish were not they say. Deer were not then they say. Elk were not they say. Grizzlies were not they say. Panthers were not they say. Wolves were not they say. Bears were not they say. People were washed away they say. Grizzlies were washed away they say. Panthers were washed away they say. Deer were washed away they say. Coyotes were not then they say. Ravens were not they say. Owls were not they say. Buzzards were not they say. Chicken-hawks were not they say. Robins were not they say. Grouse were not they say. Quails were not they say. Bluejays were not they say. Ducks were not they say. Yellow-hammers were not they say. Condors were not they say. Herons were not they say. Screech-owls were not they say. Woodcocks were not they say. Woodpeckers were not they say. Then meadowlarks were not they say. Then Sparrow-hawks were not they say. Then woodpeckers were not they say. Then seagulls were not they say. Then pelicans were not they say. Orioles were not they say. Then mockingbirds were not they say. Wrens were not they say. Russet-back thrushes, blackbirds were not they say. Then crows were not they say. Then hummingbirds were not they say. Then curlews were not they say. Then mockingbirds were not they say. Swallows were not they say. Sandpipers were not they say.  Then foxes were not they say. Then wildcats were not they say. Then otters were not they say. Then minks were not they say. Then elks were not they say. Then jack-rabbits, grey squirrels were not they say. Then ground squirrels were not they say. Then red squirrels were not they say. Then chipmunks were not they say. Then woodrats were not they say. Then kangaroo-rats were not they say. Then long-eared mice were not they say. Then sapsuckers were not they say. Then pigeons were not they say. Then warblers were not they say. Then geese were not they say. Then cranes were not they say. Then weasels were not they say. Then wind was not they say. Then snow was not they say. Then frost was not they say. Then rain was not they say. Then it didn’t thunder. Then trees were not when it didn’t thunder they say. It didn’t lighten they say. Then clouds were not they say. Fog was not they say. It didn’t appear they say. Stars were not they say. It was very dark.

Cahto [Kato] (Northern California)

Happy National Poetry Month and Happy Reading!


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.

Keep up to date with his poetry and writing on his blog Poems and Poetics.


Daniel Handler’s Salute to UC Press Poets

Every April, Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, reads only poetry in honor of National Poetry Month. This year, he gave a shoutout to two of our poets on both Twitter and in this great article on the Huffington Post. Handler is author of The Basic Eight and the A Series of Unfortunate Events books (also adapted to a 2004 film starring Jim Carrey, and soon to be adapted to a Netflix series).

Harryette Mullen's Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002).
Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002).

Poet: Harryette Mullen
How they strike me: When someone holds your hand and looks you in the eye and won’t let go until you stop trembling.
Book I like of theirs: Sleeping With The Dictionary. No, wait: Urban Tumbleweed. OK, get them both.
Representative lines:
Beside the bed, a pad lies open to record the meandering of migratory words. In the rapid eye movement of the poet’s night vision, this dictum can be decoded, like the secret acrostic of a lover’s name.
Suggested beverage pairing: What’s in this tea? Has the sky been this color all this time?”

 

 

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems, 2006.
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems (2006).

Poet: Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
How they strike me: Like a conversation so terrific you stay up too late to finish it and the next day are cranky but it’s worth it.
Book I like of theirs: I Love Artists
Representative lines:
I seek a permanent home, but this structure has an appearance of indifferent compoundedness and isolation, heading toward hopelessness.
The boys pulls an animal on a leash.
Suggested beverage pairing: Wheatgrass juice, side of aquavit.”


Pegasus Award Recognizes Robert Duncan Books

Big congratulations are in order for Peter Quartermain and James Maynard, the respective editors of Robert Duncan: The Collected Later Poems and Plays and Robert Duncan: Collected Essays and Other Prose. The two books received the Poetry Foundation’s prestigious 2014 Pegasus Award for Criticism. The annual award honors the best book-length works of criticism, including biographies, essay collections and critical editions that consider the subject of poetry or poets.

In their announcement, the Poetry Foundation writes, “These two critical editions represent a major achievement in textual scholarship, bringing together Duncan’s authoritative texts and unpublished works. The result is an extraordinary look into the development and evolution of Duncan’s distinct and groundbreaking poetics.”

Another UC Press book, The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia, edited by Garrett Caples, Nancy Joyce Peters and Andrew Joron, received an honorable mention for the award.


Lamantia and Music

To conclude our celebration of National Poetry Month, we asked Andrew Joron, one of the co-editors of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia, to reflect on Lamantia’s poetic development and the sources of his inspiration. 

By Andrew Joron

Philip Lamantia, whose Collected Poems was published by UC Press in 2013, was always attuned to the powers of music, not only in his own prosody and vocal delivery, but also in the culture at large—especially in the jazz milieu that he explored with Beat novelist Jack Kerouac in the fifties.

Born in San Francisco in 1927, Philip Lamantia was the most American visionary poet of the postwar generation. Inspired as a teenager by surrealist art and poetry, he traveled to New York during World War II to meet André Breton, the leader of the surrealist movement, who hailed Lamantia as “a voice that rises once in a hundred years.” At the end of the war, Lamantia returned to San Francisco and became a protégé of the anarchist poet Kenneth Rexroth, who turned the young poet toward naturalism. However, Lamantia never abandoned his mystical bent, which he furthered by exploring drug experiences and studying occult literature. In this period, Lamantia participated in the inception of the Beat movement after meeting Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg in Rexroth’s circle. Ginsberg called Lamantia “an American original, soothsayer even as Poe, genius in the language of Whitman, native companion and teacher to myself.” Lamantia collaborated with Kerouac and jazz musicians in New York to stage the first jazz poetry event. Following an extended stay in Europe, Lamantia renewed his commitment to surrealism in the sixties, continuing to practice a unique, mystically-tinged version of surrealism for the rest of his life. He died in San Francisco in 2005.

Throughout the phases of Lamantia’s poetic development, sound and music always seemed to provide prime sources of inspiration. Indeed, the sonorous quality of Lamantia’s own voice has provoked much commentary, including Kerouac’s descriptions of it in The Dharma Bums as a “delicate Englishy voice that had me crying inside with laughter,” and in Desolation Angels as “an excellent and strange new form of English I’ve never heard anywhere.” Whether reading poems aloud or conversing, Lamantia always applied a bardic, highly oratorical inflection that set his voice apart from typical American speech patterns. Moreover, during the period of his association with Kerouac, Lamantia occasionally performed his poems with musical accompaniment. For example, the manuscript of Lamantia’s poem-cycle Tau is marked with simple and fragmentary musical notation by an unknown composer. Lamantia, together with Kerouac and the Beat poet Howard Hart, collaborated with composer and French horn player David Amram in New York in 1957 to stage what has been recognized as the first jazz-poetry reading. Around this time, Lamantia also formed a friendship with composer and novelist Paul Bowles, who opened Lamantia’s ears to world music. Lamantia would later meet with Bowles in Morroco and delve into performances of mystical Gnawa trance music. Later, Lamantia was equally attracted the Catholic mysticism of French avant-garde composer Olivier Messiaen. The poet continued to be engaged by mystical, marvelous, and subversive elements of music to the end of his life. Lamantia’s life-long musical receptivity is shown by his interest, when in his seventies, in the work of an early rap artist known as “the Intelligent Hoodlum.”

Now, nine years after Lamantia’s death, the jazz dimension of his poetry comes to the fore again in a project called “Blood of the Air” (after the title of one of Lamantia’s books) by the Sheldon Brown Ensemble at SF Jazz on June 15. Saxophone player and composer Sheldon Brown has created a series of compositions based on the pitch patterns of Lamantia’s voice as heard in archival recordings. Brown’s compositions thus represent not simply musical settings of poetic texts but a liberation and amplification of the music residing in the poet’s own living voice. This highly original approach to the intersection of poetry and jazz gives testimony to the undiminished power of Lamantia’s work as it inspires a new generation of musicians and readers.

 

Andrew Joron is an award-winning surrealist poet and translator.


Digging Amiri Baraka

To commemorate the passing of the great Amiri Baraka, we bring you an insider’s perspective on what it was like to work with such a towering cultural and literary icon. From 2002-2011, Kalicia Pivirotto worked as an Associate Editor at UC Press, where she assisted Baraka on the publication of his collection of writings on music, Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music.

 

Digging Amiri Baraka
By Kalicia Pivirotto

I held photos from his personal collection in my hands. It felt illicit, like ripping out a page from a library book. Except it was my job to sort the photos, correctly label and tag the art program for use in Digging.

A young Amiri Baraka
A young Amiri Baraka

Over years of preparing books for production at UC Press I had handled hundreds of photos, but a poet is as Pavlovian as anyone, and when I got my hands on his manuscript you better believe I drooled right on cue (not on the photos!)

It posed a bit of a conundrum. Amiri Baraka! The man! Tremendous respect and reverence. Made me want to freak out, in the best and most festive sense of the word, like a teenager at a Beatles concert, British Invasion-style. Appropriate? Not so much. Pull it together, girl.

These are important conversations we have with ourselves. How do I demonstrate respect, appreciation – no, proper understanding of the magnitude, context within history, poetry? And not come off crazy, sycophantic, a nuisance? It’s not about you, it’s about him – that’s how. This is the pulling it together part.

DiggingEarly in my tenure at UC Press I spoke briefly with the artist Shirin Neshat, who had agreed to provide something (art? A blurb?) for a book I was working on. I may have gushed a little. I regretted it – not because she wasn’t gracious, but because it introduced a dynamic: the fan. You need a barrier from the fan. The expectations. The feeling that the fan knows you – personally – through your work. What do we want, fans? I think we want recognition, appreciation – for our good taste, at very least. When do we want it? Now! It’s a lot to ask when you think about it.

I did think about it. Regardless of the impact his work had on my own poetics, I didn’t want to alienate with over-eagerness again, however genuine my admiration. In other words, I filtered. Kept the crazy in. I think it made a difference.

When we spoke on the phone (Amiri Baraka calling meeeeeeee!), I aimed to be as supportive and professional as with any author I worked with. I hope the approach engendered ease, a sense that I was a trustworthy guide through the tortuous, exacting hoops of scholarly publishing. My reward: he called back. He let me help.

Here’s the thing about authors, especially renowned authors: they don’t do this part, typically. If they’re established, there’s an assistant or prize grad student taking care of details. Word count, formatting, permissions, art placement, who’s got time? Amiri Baraka did, apparently.

So it wasn’t just the photos, the manuscript. It was his voice. He was soft-spoken, which surprised me, mighty as his voice is in his work. He wanted to get it right, and he spent time to follow it through. I remember wondering if he were always so calm and unpretentious – would a diva materialize if something didn’t go smoothly? No book is without snags when you get down to the technicalities – was it just a matter of time?

An expression comes to mind: “judge the art, not the man.” Why? Because the art is transcendent, but the man is a jerk. Not so with Baraka. He was unfailingly even, unassuming, focused. It was calming, elevating even. Of course I didn’t know him in any real sense of the word – a few phone calls, email exchanges – but impressions are made from experience, however limited, and he left a pretty great one. The coolest, to let the fan have her say – not in grand gestures or statements, but in character.

To have a hero, and have the hero live up to the ideal. It’s illuminating, even after the light has gone out.

Kalicia Pivirotto is a poet with day job in San Francisco. She received a MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2003, and holds BA’s in Italian and English from San Francisco State University. She has been published in 26, Five Fingers Review, Transfer Magazine, and received an honorable mention in the 18th Annual National Writers Union Competition judged by Adrienne Rich.

 

 

Amiri Baraka reads his poem, “Something in the Way of Things”


Poems for the Apocalypse

Dark Archive2011 has been off to a rough start, to put it mildly. From the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis, to violent revolutions in the Middle East, to deadly tornadoes and flooding in the American South, it’s enough to make one want to hide in a bunker for the rest of the year.

Now that we’re told the impending apocalypse arrives on Saturday, I can’t think of a better time to crack open Laura Mullen’s fourth poetry collection, Dark Archive. The purpose of a dark archive is to function as a repository for information that can be used as a failsafe during disaster recovery.

Mullen’s book is a sequence of beautifully interrelated poems that explores how to accurately represent the reality of change and loss. Poetic tropes are measured against natural phenomena as Mullen examines what “witness” might mean in the context of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and other social and personal failures.

Sam Tanenhaus’s recent New York Times essay, “The Poetry of Catastrophe,” provides a helpful framework for thinking about Mullen’s work. “One of the enduring paradoxes of great apocalyptic writing,” he says, “is that it consoles even as it alarms. … To name the catastrophic demon won’t slay it. But it can help chase our fears out of the shadows and into the sunlight.”

While you’re riding out the apocalypse in your bunker, make sure to bring your iPhone, so you can view a flow-movie of Srikanth Reddy‘s poem “Untitled [Is is]” using the Academy of American Poets’ Poem Flow app. Not sure what a flow-movie is? Take a look below.

For further bunker reading, see Garrett Caples’ engrossing essay, “Work, or The Man Who Shot Frank O’Hara,” on Richard O. Moore. Caples talks about Moore’s career in public broadcasting, and meditates on what it means to be a poet who works.

Moore’s recent poetry collection, Writing the Silences, will make an excellent companion while you wait for the skies to clear. Selected from seven full-length manuscripts written between 1946 and 2008, the poems reflect not only Moore’s place in literary history, but his commitment to freedom of form, his interest in language itself, and his dedication to issues of social justice and ecology.


Srikanth Reddy and the Poetry of Erasure

Srikanth Reddy photo Many people see poetry as an act of creation, but Srikanth Reddy shows in his latest collection, Voyager, that it can also be an act of erasure. Reddy transforms the memoir of Kurt Waldheim, the controversial figure who served as U.N. Secretary-General from 1972-81 and was found to be an intelligence officer in Hitler’s Wehrmacht, by omitting words, lines and sections to create a wholly original work.

This approach has led some to ask, as critic Donna Seaman does in her review for WBEZ Chicago, “Who is speaking?”

Reddy, who was recently profiled in Publishers Weekly, explores this complex issue in a discussion of who the book is addressed to:Voyager cover

“When I was four years old, the American space program launched two probes—Voyager 1 and Voyager 2—into creation, each bearing a gold-plated phonograph record, which contained sounds and images selected to convey some sense of life on our planet. Included on the records were Bach and Indonesian gamelan music, diagrams of our DNA and geopolitical orders, and spoken greetings in 55 languages ranging from Akkadian to Wu. The intended audience was anybody out there in deep space who might find it. As I began writing, I thought I, too, was writing for whoever may or may not have been waiting out there in the darkness. But at some point I realized that the golden records weren’t truly intended for an otherworldly audience. (The scientists did not include record players along with the records.) The records were mirrors. They were meant for us, not for others. Now I feel that I must have been writing Voyager for myself all along.”

To learn more, read the Starred Review in Publishers Weekly or the Chronicle of Higher Education review. You can also read an excerpt (PDF) from Voyager on our website.


From Our Editors: The New California Poetry Series

If you’ve been paying attention to our blog, you’ve noticed that three of the four new books being released this Spring belong to the New California Poetry series. What is the New California Poetry series, you ask? UC Press Poetry editor Rachel Berchten offers this explanation:

A cornerstone of the UC Press Poetry program, the New California Poetry series presents works by emerging and established poets that reflect UC Press’s commitment to innovative and aesthetically wide-ranging literary traditions. Each year, UC Press publishes three titles in the series, which has been edited by poets Robert Hass, Calvin Bedient, Brenda Hillman, and Forrest Gander.

To date, the series has published 33 titles by 25 different poets. Among those poets singled out for special recognition are: Keith Waldrop, whose trilogy Transcendental Studies won the National Book Award in 2009; Harryette Mullen, whose Sleeping with the Dictionary was a finalist for a National Book Award in 2002; Cole Swensen whose 2008 collection Ours was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Awards; and Fanny Howe, whose Selected Poems received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for the Most Outstanding Book of Poetry Published in 2000 from the Academy of American Poets.

In addition, the series includes books by some of the most interesting and exciting poets writing today, among them, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Joshua Clover, Myung Mi Kim, Lisa Robertson, Ron Silliman, Leslie Scalapino, Juliana Spahr, and Brian Teare.

New California Poetry series manuscripts are selected through a curatorial process, by which the series editors invite poets to submit manuscripts.


April is Poetry Month

T.S. Eliot photoEstablishing National Poetry Month in April, which T.S. Eliot famously deemed “the cruelest month,” might seem a little misguided. But on closer look, the Academy of American Poets may be on to something. For Eliot, April is the month that stirs up all the emotions that have lain dormant in winter, “mixing/ Memory and desire.” Poetry does this perhaps better than any other medium.

This year, as in years past, UC Press is a proud sponsor of National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. We’ve got a lot going on this month, and would like to share some of the highlights with you.

New Releases

The Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan, edited by Alice Notley, Anselm Berrigan, and Edmund Berrigan, demonstrates the breadth of Ted Berrigan’s poetic accomplishments by presenting his most celebrated, interesting, and important work. According to John Ashbery, “Ted Berrigan was a leader of the New York School; his crazy energy embodied that movement and the city itself.”

Laura Mullen’s Dark Archive explores how to accurately represent the reality of change and loss in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Fred Moten wrote that “Mullen’s shapes shift, disappear like the living but remain like lives, as sharp curved traces, jarred angles of incidence/vantage/glance.”

Geoffrey G. O’Brien’s Metropole opens with a set of lyric experiments whose music and mutable syntax explore the social relations concealed in material things. Publishers Weekly gave the book a Starred Review, saying, “If O’Brien’s poems are becoming increasingly resistant to, if not combative with, their readers, their rewards are also growing richer for readers willing to engage in the poems’ arguments.”

And Srikanth Reddy’s Voyager, which draws its name from the spacecraft, probes this world’s cosmological relation to the plurality of all possible worlds. Booklist wrote, “The paradoxical lives of historical figures have long inspired poets, a tradition Reddy embraces and transforms in his audacious, deeply interrogative second collection. . . . Nuanced yet piercing.”

Events

Geoffrey O'Brien imageGeoffrey G. O’Brien, author of Metropole, will take part in the Lunch Poems series at UC Berkeley on April 7 at 12:00 pm. O’Brien will also read at Lewis & Clark College on April 15 at 3:00 pm.

For those looking to keep the spirit of Poetry Month alive in May, we’ve got a couple of incredible events we’d be remiss not to mention.

Michael McClure will be at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club on May 10 and 11 with Ray Manzarek of The Doors. This event is a must for Doors fans—McClure was Jim Morrison’s role model and one of his influences.

Susan Thackrey, a friend and student of Robert Duncan’s, will speak about the The H.D. Book on May 14 at 7:30 pm in the final event of SF State Poetry Center‘s spring season.

Audio and Video

Visit the Poetry section of our website for rare video footage of Michael McClure reading poetry to lions, as well as an audio interview with Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson, editors of the third volume of Poems for the Millennium.

And below, watch the video from the H.D. Book event at UC Berkeley’s Holloway Poetry Series, hosted by Robert Hass, with an appearance from UC Press’s own Sheila Levine.

Check back on our website and blog for poetry news from UC Press—there is more to come!