Editor: Ana Božičević & Ammiel Alcalay
56 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding

In March of 1985, Diane di Prima traveled to Buffalo, New York, to give the Charles Olson Memotial Lecture, a series instituted by Robert Creeley in 1979. This volume presents the first of three lectures, edited by di Prima with reference to journals and notebooks of the period. An evocation of and a conversation with Charles Olson and his theoretical and poetic legacy, Old Father, Old Artificer chronicles the poets’ friendship; the books they shared; their shifting geographies—on trajectories from New York to Gloucester and the West Coast; encounters with John Wieners, Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, and other friends in life and art; as well as views on poetry, history, and mythology. This animated, haunting timeline clears the ground for di Prima’s second lecture, a structural analysis of Olson’s Maximus, and the third, which offers an even broader view of this seminal thinker’s poetics and vision.

Author Biography:

DIANE DI PRIMA is one of a handful of poets left whose work, experiences, and friendships span the full range of what has been most vital in post Second World War North American literature, yet her place in our literary and cultural history has barely begun to be delineated. She is the author of more than 40 books, including This Kind of Bird Flies Backwards, Loba, Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems, Dinners and Nightmares, Memoirs of a Beatnik, and Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years. Co-founder of The Floating Bear, Poets Press and the New York Poets Theatre, she was one of the core faculty in the Poetics Program at New College. She has been Poet Laureate of San Francisco and continues to live there.

Selected Archives:



Collected in: Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative

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