Beats at Naropa

An anthology edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright

June 1, 2009 • 6 x 9 • 234 pages • 978-1-56689-227-8

Never-before-collected essays, talks, and interviews with the luminaries of Beat literature.

Amassed from the riches of the Naropa University audio archives, this collection offers an exciting new look at the Beats—whose influence lives on in the art and politics of our time. In this often spontaneous, conversational book, readers are introduced to the hard truths behind being a Beat woman, the haunting accuracy of William Burroughs’s world-view, the passion and energy of Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, Jack Kerouac’s unexpected musicality, Diane DiPrima’s foray into small press publishing, Michael McClure’s account of the famous first reading of “Howl,” and, most of all, the inspirations behind America’s most provocative and prescient thinkers.

Contributors include:

David Amram Amiri Baraka • Ted Berrigan • Junior Burke • William S. Burroughs • Lorna Dee Cervantes • Ann Charters • Clark Coolidge • Gregory Corso • Diane di Prima • Lawrence Ferlinghetti • Rick Fields • Allen Ginsberg • David Henderson • Abbie Hoffman John Clellon Holmes • Joyce Johnson • Hettie Jones • Edie Parker Kerouac • Joanne Kyger • Michael McClure • William S. Merwin • John Oughton • Marjorie Perloff • David Rome • Edward Sanders • Gary Snyder • Janine Pommy Vega • Steven Taylor • Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche • Anne Waldman • Philip Whalen • Laura Wright • Joshua Zim

About the Author

Anne Waldman is an internationally renowned poet, performer, and Distinguished Professor of Poetics at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is the co-editor of Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action and the author of over forty books, including In the Room of Never Grieve and Vow to Poetry: Essays, Interviews, & Manifestos.

Laura Wright, co-editor of Beats at Naropa (Coffee House Press, 2009), is a poet, map librarian, volunteer firefighter, and graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. For a number of years she curated the Left Hand Reading Series in Boulder. She is the author of Part of the Design as well as various chapbooks. Her translation of Henri Michaux’s La vie dans les plis is forthcoming from Action Books.


“At Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, there has long been an illuminating, dynamic, ongoing exchange of ideas about the history and legacy of the Beat Generation—an exchange fortunately that has been carefully archived and preserved. This valuable anthology does not further embalm the ‘legend’ of the Beats. Instead it allows its readers to hear authentic voices—Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, John Clellon Holmes, Diane di Prima, Philip Whalen, etc.—as well as introducing the thoughtful and responsible work of leading Beat scholars.” —Joyce Johnson