The Poetry Deal is the first full-length collection of poems in decades from legendary feminist Beat poet, Diane di Prima.
"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.' For a half-century, as poet, printer, alchemist, and teacher she's created a communal reality where everyone is invited to actively participate in its making. 'It is the poem I serve luminous' she says in her Inaugural Address, reminding us to 'write like you talk, talk like you sing, sing like you dance, or love.'"—Micah Ballard, author of Waifs and Strays
"Diane di Prima, the poet, alchemist, historian, revolutionary, and thinker, is now author of The Poetry Deal, a book which reminds that the void has a heart; that the synergy of what we are made of and where we are, where context kisses content, is the place we should look for vital language and poetry. I return to this book again and again to remember what it means to own and further a poetic and political lineage."—Ana Božičević, author of Rise in the Fall
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 40 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 Chogyam 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, 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 Laureate in 2009.
More praise for di Prima:
"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