Revolutionary Letters is an American classic arising from the utopian anarchism for which Diane di Prima has long been a spokesperson. The first of these poems were written during the active days of the late 1960s, and published by the underground press throughout the U.S. and abroad. They were also used as guerrilla theatre. Diane read the early poems from a flatbed truck in New York City and later performed them on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco with Peter Coyote and the Diggers.
Four editions of the Letters were published by City Lights between 1971 and 1980. Each new printing contained "Letters" written in the intervening period. The new poems in this edition address some of the history of the past twenty years, and were written as the various occasions arose.
"Diane di Prima is the original outlaw poet; she wrote herself a wild, authentic life without regard for the rules during an era when being such a female creature was truly transgressive. Her writing is crucial as history; as literature it is enduring and bewitching. She illuminates the female experience while simultaneously bowing to its final, holy mystery." -Michelle Tea.
"A few people like her get made every few thousand years, in order to highlight the dullness of the rest." -Andrei Codrescu.
Diane DiPrima is the author of 42 books of poetry and prose, including Pieces of a Song (City Lights, 1990). Her work has been translated into at least twenty languages. She has received grants for her poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, she received an Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the National Poetry Association.