Anne Waldman QuotesAnne Waldman is an American poet.Since the 1960s, Waldman has been an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry community as a writer, performer, collaborator, professor, editor, scholar, and cultural/political activist.
In my teen years and early twenties I was really interested in this fellaheen worlds that, of course, Kerouac invokes and wanting to go below the border and wanting to get to these other places or interstices of the culture where you were encountering the realities of these other kinds of cultures, experiences, language, I think of jazz culture of course.
When I got back to NY had the opportunity to work with the beginning years of the poetry project which was founded with money from the OEO under Lyndon Johnson to work with alienated youth on the lower East side. This was extraordinary, to be able to help then to create a culture that would capture the energy that I felt at Berkley.
I had a student some years ago whose father had worked on the Manhattan Project. I had a student who had to escape this very intense, born-again fundamentalist Christian background that was very much like a cult and of course they struggle to get to Naropa. And they have cut themselves off. They don’t look back.
In a way, America’s the shadow of everything I do, everywhere I go, everything I carry, no matter if I travel to the ends of the earth. And I live frequently on the spine of the continent, near the Great Divide. Then there’s the side of it being the real energy center for a truly post-postmodernist poetry mind, which is also archaic, because we can still be close to the land.