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Bloomsbury Academic
Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions

Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions

by David Stephen CalonneDavid Stephen Calonne
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Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions reveals how central di Prima was in the discovery, articulation and dissemination of the major themes of the Beat and hippie countercultures from the fifties to the present.

Di Prima (1934—) was at the center of literary, artistic, and musical culture in New York City. She also was at the energetic fulcrum of the Beat movement and, with Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), edited The Floating Bear (1961-69), a central publication of the period to which William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, and Frank O'Hara contributed. Di Prima was also a pioneer in her challenges to conventional assumptions regarding love, sexuality, marriage, and the role of women.

David Stephen Calonne charts the life work of di Prima through close readings of her poetry, prose, and autobiographical writings, exploring her thorough immersion in world spiritual traditions and how these studies informed both the form and content of her oeuvre. Di Prima's engagement in what she would call “the hidden religions” can be divided into several phases: her years at Swarthmore College and in New York; her move to San Francisco and immersion in Zen; her researches into the I Ching, Paracelsus, John Dee, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, alchemy, Tarot, and Kabbalah of the mid-sixties; and her later interest in Tibetan Buddhism. Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions is the first monograph devoted to a writer of genius whose prolific work is notable for its stylistic variety, wit and humor, struggle for social justice, and philosophical depth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501366574
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 07/23/2020
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 932,936
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

David Stephen Calonne is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University, USA. He is the author of William Saroyan: My Real Work Is Being (1983), as well as the literary biographies Charles Bukowski (2012) and Henry Miller (2014). Most recently he has published The Spiritual Imagination of the Beats (2017) and Conversations with Gary Snyder (2017).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

List of Figures viii

Introduction 1

1 The Blood of the Poet: 1934-52 11

2 Return to New York: From Ezra Pound to the I Ching, 1953-60 27

3 Tell all the gods we're turning back to find them: From Dinners and Nightmares to Paracelsus, Alchemy, and Tarot, 1961-67 61

4 The Age of Aquarius and the Wolf: Revolutionary Letters, Monas Hieroglyphica, Loba, 1968-79 115

5 The Hidden Religions, H.D., Angels, and Tibetan Buddhism, 1980-92 175

6 Speech of the Heart: Poet Laureate of San Francisco, 1993 to the present 205

Notes 233

University Library Collections of Diane di Prima's Work 270

Bibliography 271

Index 293

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