Some Holiday Book Recommendations

Holiday Season is upon us and we wanted to recommend some books (well, we wanted to recommend some t-shirts and mugs and posters and CDs too – do check out our on-line store – here) – but books, it’s been quite a year for books (and they make great presents!).

First off, well how could we not begin with this one. Pat Thomas’ Material Wealth – Mining the  Personal Archive of Allen Ginsberg, fresh out from powerHouse Books. Read our rave review here – see also here, here and here
See also yesterday’s posting about a CD that will accompany the book, coming out later, in the Spring

A more serious, substantial “read” (harrowing because of the subject matter but revelatory and intelligent, which goes where no book has ever gone before), Stevan M Weine’s Best Minds – How Allen Ginsberg Made Revolutionary Poetry from Madness (from Fordham University Press) – Read Bob Rosenthal‘s review of it here. Read our official announcement

Jack Kerouac’s Estate (in collaboration with Rare Bird Books) have so far put out two wonderful posthumous books, the first, last year’s Desolation Peak – but we’re spotlighting this year’s offering,  Truth and Beautiful Meaningful Lies – A Collection of Jack Kerouac Quotes (edited by Jim Sampas and Sylvia Cunha).  Now that sure would make an
almost-perfect Christmas present for the Beat-o-phile/Jack Kerouac reader! –
Put it on your list.

Another one from last year (but it is so important and so timeless) – Gregory Corso’s posthumous poems, (a long-time-in-the-making), The Golden Dot (edited by Raymond Foye and George Scrivani), from Lithic Press.  You need this book and you need a copy to give to your friend(s). Pure poetry. See our notice on it – here (we posted it on Gregory’s birthday)

Another pure poet, Lew Welch. At long last we have a biography of this elusive figure, one might say the definitive biography. Likewise, long in the making, Ewan Clark’s He, Leo – The Life and Poetry of Lew Welch (from Oregon State University Press) is a “must-read”. See our initial posting about the book – here

Lew’s very close friend (and fellow Reed College alumnae) Philip Whalen also has a long-anticipated and absolutely essential posthumous volume just out (which would make a wonderful present!) – Bowed Some, Chanted A Little – Philip Whalen’s Zen Journals and The San Francisco Renaissance, wisely and authoritatively edited by Zen practitioner and Zen scholar, Brian Unger. Our notice of it – here. (and, while we mention it, we should also mention another recent publication from the same University of Alabama Press, Jennifer Bartlett’s Sustaining Air, the biography of poet Larry Eigner. See our notice on that – here)

Anne Waldman’s recent book is not just a book of poems, it’s a biography, memoir, call-to-arms, appreciation. Bard, Kinetic came out from Coffee House Press earlier this year.
Here’s  our appreciation of the book

Anselm Hollo’s Collected Poems is another volume from Coffee House Press. At over 1,000 pages, it’s a veritable door-stopper (not quite sure if that would fit in Santa’s stocking!) but don’t let its heft and size deter you. It is light as a feather (and profound and wise and funny and all those other things too)

The recent offering from The Bob Dylan Center, Mixing Up The Medicine (edited by Mark Davidson and Parker Fishel) is another hefty tome (but, like Material Wealth, a “coffee-table book” that’s, well, kind of essential)

and, finally, Diane di Prima.  Diane’s Buddhist Ruminations (Selected Buddhist Poems), twenty poems, sixty-four pages, copiously illustrated with traditional images and all printed in Nepal on beautiful hand-made paper (and sporting an intro by Anne Waldman) is a beautiful thing, an inspiration and a memory, a precious limited edition.  $40 a copy – there are still a few copies, but order quickly as they’ll soon be gone.  Shiv Mirabito, the publisher of Shivastan Press, can be contacted – here


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