Huge Dreams republishes two books, out of print for thirty years, which together are a cornerstone of the Beat movement--The New Book/A Book of Torture and Star. Both were influential in expanding poetry into a larger world--the West Coast Beat phenomena, which focused on nature, the environment, antiwar activities, individual anarchism, Zen Buddhism, jazz, and a kind of romantic mystical thought. With these books Michael McClure brought an animal energy and a knowledge of art and physical human nature that was new to the scene.
The New Book/A Book of Torture was written spontaneously while McClure was in a "dark night of the soul" brought on by psychedelics. A single long poem of experience and exploration, it offers the means of liberation from the darkness it examines. Star is a wide-ranging book of chalice seeking, spiritual discovery, and political protest, grounded in the emotions and sensations of eros and play.