Preserving Fire: A meditation on the prose of Philip Lamantia
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

moderated by Garrett Caples

with appearances by

Will Alexander
Micah Ballard
James Brook
Chris Carosi
Steve Fama
Brian Lucas
Nancy Joyce Peters
Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

Celebrating the release of

Preserving Fire: Selected Prose

By Philip Lamantia

Edited by Garrett Caples

published by Wave Books

Please join us for an evening celebrating the life and work of the foremost U.S.-born surrealist poet and San Francisco native Philip Lamantia (1927-2005) on what would have been his 91st birthday. This celebration is to launch the newly published book Preserving Fire: Selected Prose by Philip Lamantia (Wave Books, 2018). Hosted by the editor of Preserving Fire, Garrett Caples, the event will feature an overview of Lamantia's life along with readings from his poetry and prose by his friends and admirers

Preserving Fire recounts the life and thought of Surrealist, Beat Generation, and San Francisco Renaissance poet Philip Lamantia through his fugitive prose works. Ranging from poetry to politics to mythology to dance, from manifestos to travelogues to wartime declarations of conscientious objection, these writings—expertly collected by Garrett Caples—offer a dynamic picture of Lamantia's multifaceted intellectual life and the artistic movements he helped shape.

Philip Lamantia (1927–2005) was an influential Surrealist, Beat, and San Francisco Renaissance poet. He is the author of many books, including Erotic Poems, Touch of the Marvelous, Meadowlark West, Tau and Journey to the End, and The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia.

Garrett Caples is the editor of Philip Lamantia's Preserving Fire: Selected Prose (Wave Books, forthcoming 2018), as well as the author of Power Ballads (Wave Books, 2016), Retrievals (2014), The Garrett Caples Reader (1999), Complications (2007), and Quintessence of the Minor (2010). He is also the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (2013), Particulars of Place (2015) by Richard O. Moore, and Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems (2016) by Frank Lima. He is an editor at City Lights Books and curates the Spotlight Poetry Series there. He was also a contributing writer to the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has written articles and blogged for the Poetry Foundation and occasionally blogs for He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in San Francisco.

Philip was a visionary like Blake, and he really saw the whole world in a grain of sand.
—Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Philip Lamantia's Collected Poems is beyond scale, weight, or measure. There is no proportion in this intertwining of soul-buildings. These are the inexorable and ineffable projects of an inspired consciousness set at full tilt in raging protest, kisses, prayers, blessings and outraged demands. All from the deepest silence and farthest travel. The reader's excitement is carried by Lamantia's spiritual and physical beat. This surreal and mantic project drives farther than anything before or after. Breathtaking! These works are of synesthetic beauty to the eye, the ear, and the open interior of the heart. They come from the peaks and herbs and forests where the meadowlark speaks.
—Michael McClure

Books related to this event:

Product image
Preserving Fire
Selected Prose
Philip Lamantia
2018 Edition
Preserving Fire recounts the life and thought of Surrealist, Beat Generation, and San Francisco Renaissance poet Philip Lamantia through his fugitive prose works