With passion, wit and inventiveness, Helping the Dreamer continues Anne Waldman’s commitments to the major themes of our day: nuclear war, the environment, and the sexual tension that can bring richness as well as confusion to human relationships. In recent years this poet has been experimenting with new ways to present poetry in performance—this book explodes with the energy Waldman brings to the stage, capturing the free-flowing spirit, accuracy, and range of subjects her writing encompasses.
“Waldman has developed her own patented brand of rhythmically insistent model structure, both conveying and imitating the transitoriness of the human moment. Occurring in key points in this scheme, harmonistic images of natural wholeness, reconciliation and plentitude provide the chords that hold the receptive, inclusive structures together.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“‘Incantation’ is a passionate reflection on the poet’s craft ad role, on the contemporary meaning and purpose of expression itself . . . This poem of ‘reciprocity between the woman and her mind’ has its best moments in its recognition of the planet’s vulnerability in the face of greed and weapons technology. . . . These poems are most moving not when they perform, but when they ponder and reflect. Then their difficulty resolves itself into light, the pure transparency of the soul given speech as it breathes in and out.” —Patricia Hampl, The New York Times Book Review
“Anne Waldman is a poet orator, her body an instrument for vocalization, her voice a trembling flame rising out of a strong body, her texts that accurate energetic fine notations of words with spoken music latent in mindful arrangement on the page.” —Allen Ginsberg
“. . . A syncopated web that includes the personal within the metaphysical and the environmental, tying the individual’s story to the story of the survival of the planet, American politics, Vietnam, feminism.” —Village Voice Literary Supplement
“. . . Celebrates her awareness of the many roles a woman plays with incantations of comtemporary flux. . . . a reader-performer, a manic public voice whose poetry joins graffiti, collage, jazz, and conversation.” —Library Journal
‘Waldman delights in the voice and language as a primary reality that we move in . . .” —Hungry Mind Review