Part elegy, part memoir, lyrical and unforgettable, a previously unpublished masterpiece from one of America's most important authors.
In 1964, Diane di Prima was a young poet living in New York when her dear friend, dancer and Warhol Factory member Freddie Herko, leapt naked from the window of a Greenwich Village apartment to a sudden, dramatic, and tragic death. In her shock and grief, di Prima began to write what she thought of as a letter to Freddie, initiating a daily practice. Each afternoon for a year, she would light a stick of incense and type furiously until it burned itself out. The practice stopped on October 27, 1965, the first anniversary of Freddie's death.
As the days turn to seasons, Diane di Prima writes an eloquent ode to her friend, to their relationship, and to an entire constellation of the writers, artists, and revolutionaries who made up their community. Frank O'Hara, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure and other luminaries appear, as di Prima publishes her own work and produces that of others. With her husband Alan Marlowe, she cares for their 2-year-old daughter and runs the Poets Theatre and the Poets Press, while co-editing a literary journal with LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka). Lyrical, elegant, and nakedly honest, Spring and Autumn Annals is a moving tribute to a friendship, and to lives spent breaking the rules of "respectable" society in order to pursue personal and creative goals. Masterfully observed and passionately recorded, it offers a uniquely American portrait of an artist as a young woman in the heyday of bohemian New York City.
"Diane di Prima, revolutionary activist of the 1960s Beat literary renaissance, heroic in life and poetics: a learned humorous bohemian, classically educated and twentieth-century radical, her writing, informed by Buddhist equanimity, is exemplary in imagist, political and mystical modes. … She broke barriers of race-class identity, delivered a major body of verse brilliant in its particularity."––Allen Ginsberg