Cross Worlds: Transcultural Poetics

An anthology edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright

June 23, 2014 • 6 x 9 • 366 pages • 978-1-56689-358-9

Cross Worlds engages cultural hybrids, trans-cultural alliances and associations, and the vital practice of poets working across borders.

Cross Worlds refers to cultural hybrids, transcultural alliances and associations. Contributors are from a range of places and disciplines and their work reflects the Jack Kerouac School’s unique zone of interaction, which runs parallel to more mainstream academic institutions. This fascinating compendium of documents, in essays, conversations, and Socratic raps, the vital work poets perform when they write across borders.

Contributors include:

Allen Ginsberg • Eileen Myles • Joanne Kyger • Nicole Brossard • Monica de la Torre • Sherwin Bitsui • Bei Dao • Anselm Hollo

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.


“There are serious riches on hand in this latest marvel-filled gleaning from the Kerouac School’s indispensable yearly summertime transcultural poetic vortex. Equally attentive to the voices of those who have left us and those still around to ‘put fire on this crazy world,’ editors Anne Waldman and Laura Wright have herein beautifully gathered a host of high-voltage talks, panels, interviews and razor-sharp asides whose collective brilliance out burns anything this side of the sun.” —Laird Hunt

“Filled with a variety of useful riches that traverse a dizzying array of languages, geographies, and political realities, Cross Worlds: Transcultural Poetics—like previous volumes Civil Disobediences and Beats at Naropa—continues to deliver the goods stored in the Archives of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. We are in need, more than ever, of this kind of archival attention, as even our recent past gets consumed by the present. This ‘news that stays news’ moves from Allen Ginsberg on Aboriginal poetics to Vietnam, the Mayan classics, Puerto Rico, African America, and the need for gringos to encounter the world as seen through Arab and other eyes. Poetic thought here, the thought of poets, is provocative, critical, and necessary, a way of grasping the worlds we now live in and how they came to be.” —Ammiel Alcalay

“This wondrous, extraordinary collection reflects the facets and range of artists that interact with each other and fellow luminary Anne Waldman, evoking human interactions beyond our constructions of nations and states and prompting us to think about our connection to the planet itself and all its inhabitants. Contemplative, illuminating, unusual, and global, Cross Worlds is an excellent compilation of the confluence of global systems and renowned workers/players/experimenters of language and culture. What’s also really wonderful in it are the many instances of these word masters in conversation with each other and the insights generated by their discourse. I appreciate what this book will continue to do for future decades, future books, future worlds.” —Tracie Morris

“This collection presents an excellent snapshot of contemporary international poetry.” —Cultural Weekly

“A firm belief in poetry’s inherent transformative principle properties is pervasive throughout this collection. From continents to languages, there’s a diverse offering of perspective both historical and contemporary.” —Jacket 2