The Poetry Deal is the first full-length collection of poems in decades from legendary feminist Beat poet, Diane di Prima.
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.