×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Poetry Deal
     

The Poetry Deal

by Diane Di Prima
 

"The Poetry Deal: San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 5 gives us di Prima’s vision as she looks back at a life lived truly and looks out at a society she still has hope for even as it grieves its failings.”—David Nilsen, Fourth & Sycamore: A Literary Journal

"The Poetry Deal shines with eros and kindness and the

Overview


"The Poetry Deal: San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 5 gives us di Prima’s vision as she looks back at a life lived truly and looks out at a society she still has hope for even as it grieves its failings.”—David Nilsen, Fourth & Sycamore: A Literary Journal

"The Poetry Deal shines with eros and kindness and the reality of inspiration. No American or Anarchist voice or soul-building heart has ever been more clear. The pages are fierce with love and generosity."--Michael McClure, author of Ghost Tantras

"The Poetry Deal is fresh flame from a revolutionary fire that continues to burn. Every woman of every age should carry it in a purse with their pepper spray. Diane is the ultimate weapon."--Amber Tamblyn, author of Dark Sparkler

"In her latest collection as San Francisco Poet Laureate, di Prima is again at the height of her powers, with 'the act of writing itself more compelling than ever.'"--Micah Ballard, author of Waifs and Strays

"I return to this book again and again to remember what it means to own and further a poetic and political lineage."--Ana Bozicevic, author of Rise in the Fall

"The Poetry Deal [is] an urgent success of the highest order . . . Diane di Prima should always be high on the American poetry play list."--Barbara Berman, The Rumpus

"Recounting a life in poetry, her commitment to progressive thought and action, and a half-century of Bay Area culture, crises, and change, di Prima writes at the top of her game . . . di Prima recalls the time an institutionalized Ezra Pound told her that 'poets have to eat'; rarely has a poet left so much bread on the table for future poets."—*Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

"This is a volume that traverses the specific and reaches the universal. She marks her poems with great strength and utmost sensitivity. They are poems that live in real time; not cyberspace. di Prima's poetry is well-lived and poetry worth living in. She is a gifted teacher enjoining the reader to face life's lessons for the attendant dilemmas of old age. Carry this book with you. It will arm you with continuous insight and flaming provocation.”—Robert Sutherland-Cohen

The Poetry Deal is the first full-length collection of individual poems in decades from legendary feminist Beat poet Diane di Prima. Framed by two passionate, and critical, prose statements assessing her adopted home city, The Poetry Deal is a collection of poems that provide a personal and political look at forty years of Bay Area culture. Often elegiac in tone, the book captures the poet's sense of loss as she chronicles the deaths of friends from the AIDS epidemic as well as the passing of illustrious countercultural colleagues like Philip Whalen, Pigpen from the Grateful Dead, and Kirby Doyle. She also recalls and mourns out-of-town inspirations like Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Audre Lorde, and Ezra Pound. Yet even as she laments the state of her city today, she finds triumph and solace in her own relationships, the marriages of her friends, the endurance of City Lights, and other symbols of San Francisco's heritage.

Born in Brooklyn in 1934, Diane di Prima emerged as a member of the Beat Generation in New York in the late '50s; in the early '60s, she founded the important mimeo magazine The Floating Bear with her lover LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka). In the late '60s, she moved to San Francisco, where she would publish her groundbreaking Revolutionary Letters (1971) with City Lights. Her other important books include Memoirs of a Beatnik, Pieces of a Dream, Recollections of My Life as a Woman, and Loba. She was named San Francisco Poet

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/20/2014
Legendary feminist Beat poet di Prima (Pieces of a Song) delivers her first collection in more than two decades. Recounting a life in poetry, her commitment to progressive thought and action, and a half-century of Bay Area culture, crises, and change, di Prima writes at the top of her game in a city where, “dig it, City Lights still here, like some old lighthouse/ though all the rest is gone.” Poems in her plainspoken, arrow-true style are bracketed by the acceptance address she delivered when named San Francisco poet laureate in 2009. “I would have to say thank you to all sentient beings,” di Prima declared, and through this volume, her heartrending love of the Earth, the mind, and art is on stunning display: “Poetry can bring joy, it can ease grief... Poetry is our heart’s cry and our heart’s ease.” She mixes observations on the state of the nation with history (“Remember Sacco & Vanzetti/ Remember Haymarket/ Remember John Brown/ Remember the slave revolts/ Remember Malcolm”) and personal narrative. Di Prima recalls the time an institutionalized Ezra Pound told her that “poets have to eat”; rarely has a poet left so much bread on the table for future poets. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"As San Francisco goes through the drastic changes ushered in by the booming tech economy, here comes a collection of new poems from one of the city’s cultural stalwarts--her first full-length book in decades. A feminist and an early member of the Beats, di Prima reflects on her life in the Bay Area in what her publisher calls an 'often elegiac' work. The 80-year-old former San Francisco Poet Laureate notes what has been lost in the city she’s called home since the ‘60s, but also celebrates what endures."--Oscar Villalon, KQED Books

"From her early days as a member of the Beat generation in the 1950s to her selection as San Francisco poet laureate in 2009, Diane di Prima has been essential to the Bay Area literary scene. This slim volume of new works finds her still pursuing the personal and political interests that have shaped her career. Framed by two prose statements reflecting on San Francisco, the poems chronicle love and loss, war and AIDS, and remembrances of fellow writers, poets and thinkers."--Georgia Rowe, Bay Area News Group

"A prolific writer generally associated with the Beat Generation, di Prima deserves wider recognition."--Library Journal

"She is not about to be regarded merely as a literary figurehead, but as an ongoing contributor to the arts--a presence whose voice continues to positively impact those who listen, as it has for the last half-century."--Verbicide Magazine

"The Poetry Deal is di Prima's first full-length book of new poems in decades. It includes poignant pieces about loss and aging, as well as impassioned political verse and odes to such diverse figures as the Tibetan teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the Caribbean-American writer and activist Audre Lorde."--Andrea Miller, Shambhala Sun

" . . . di Prima's concerns transcend her own condition and do the broader work of poetry, which 'constantly renews our seeing: so we can speak the constantly changing Truth' . . . Neither naïve nor jaded, di Prima continues to write what she sees and to encourage our attention."--Marla Johnson, World Literature Today

"From 2008 to 2011, Diane di Prima served as Poet Laureate of San Francisco, and The Poetry Deal, her first full-length collection of poems in nearly fifteen years, is her gift to us. . . . More than anything it is generous, and I am so grateful for the generosity of this book and for this poet, who reminds us that, even in our desperate grasping, there is 'no season / that is not / a Season of Song…'"--Maryam Parhizkar, The Poetry Project Newsletter

Library Journal
11/15/2014
"But when yr eyes shoot sparks & you say/ "Choose between me & it." "It" has always gone." Di Prima (Revolutionary Letters) sealed the deal with poetry at age 14. Collected here are poems that span four decades and speak to the poet's allegiance to her city and her community; lives lost to the 1990s AIDS epidemic; politics; love; motherhood; "a state of mind." In 1968, the Beat performer, human rights activist, and poet laureate of San Francisco from 2009 to 2011, left her native New York and moved permanently to the Bay Area. She would become a revolutionary voice of the people; a self-proclaimed servant of the poem. These mostly spare and lyrical poems invite the reader to "Escape from dry New College lecture" ("Gracias"), give pause to "Memorial Day, 2003," and imagine alternative approaches to "Haiti, Chile, Tibet." We get close to the author's "Acts of Imagination" and feel that poetry is as she says—it can bring joy, cause grief, is song, riddle, dance, is dream and dreamer intertwined, is remaking language in the act of being writ, is so many parts, it's indeed a lot to wrap our minds around. VERDICT Di Prima is true to her first love, the Muse—"which one of us is it dances?/ and which is the quasar?" The poems, while timeless, belong to a distinct period and place; they wish to celebrate the risks involved in being committed to one's dreams and inspire the imagination. A legendary voice to be appreciated by all readers of poetry. [For more on di Prima's life and career, see The Poetry Deal, a film with Diane di Prima (2011) by Melanie La Rosa, LJ 11/15/12.—Ed.]—Annalisa Pesek, Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931404150
Publisher:
City Lights Books
Publication date:
10/28/2014
Series:
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series , #7
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Diane di Prima was born in Brooklyn in 1934. She emerged as a member of the Beat Generation in the late ’50s, associating with poets like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara, and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka). With Jones, she started the mimeo mag The Floating Bear in the early ’60s. She also co-founded the New York Poets Theatre and Poets Press. In the late ’60s, she moved to San Francisco, where she published her groundbreaking Revolutionary Letters with City Lights and wrote her erotic novel Memoirs of a Beatnik. She taught for many years at Naropa and at New College of San Francisco. Her other important publications include the long poem Loba, the selected Pieces of a Song, and the memoir Recollections of My Life as a Woman. She was named San Francisco Poet Laureate in 2009.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews