Out of This World: Foreword by Allen Ginsberg

Anne Waldman, Author, David Groff, Editor, Allen Ginsberg, Introduction by Three Rivers Press (CA) $22 (690p) ISBN 978-0-517-56681-7
The three parts of Waldman's ( Helping the Dreamer ) anthology of Poetry Project writings--each representing a generation of authors--resemble a triptych portraying popular culture's metamorphoses. Part One focuses on the Project's precursors of the late 1950s and early '60s: Black Mountain innovators like Fielding Dawson--who contributes the tiny gem of an essay ``On Writing Novels''--and New York School writers like Frank O'Hara. Part Two begins in 1966 with the Project proper. Ed Sanders's poem recalls the ``Yiddish-speaking socialists of the Lower East Side'' whose Old Left politics the Project inherited. Although Waldman errs on the side of inclusivity, the writing she culls from the latest generation is nearly all galvanizing and diverse. With superb insight and precision, Mary Caponegro describes a village's collective sigh over the death of a member as a ``clearing of the throat to open the way for gossip.'' Maggie Dubris's ``Welcome to WillieWorld'' seems a surreal depiction of urban life, but the contributors' notes clarify that it is more a transcription of Dubris's actual experience as a New York City paramedic, a piece very much out of this world. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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