Anne Waldman is a poet and performer. Author of over forty books of poetry, most recently the forthcoming Gossamurmur (Penguin), she is a founder of The Poetry Project at St. Marks’s Church and of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. She collaborates regularly with her son, musician and composer Ambrose Bye. More about her and her work can be found at her recently launched website: www.annewaldman.org.
We had the opportunity to converse with Anne about the A. BRADSTREET project briefly before her recent reading for the Woodberry Poetry Room. She mentioned that her First Baby Poems continues to be among of her favorite work and followed up with a few responses for us via email.
A. BRADSTREET: What books have been important to you as a mother?
Songs of Innocence and Experience – William Blake
Technicians of the Sacred- Edited by Jerome Rothenberg
Midwinter Day- Bernadette Mayer
Of Women Born- Adrienne Rich
Four Year Old Girl – Mei-mei Bersenbrugge & so much more!
A. BRADSTREET: How has being a mother shaped or affected your writing practice?
A. WALDMAN: I learned to be able to write anywhere in time and space – I gave up personal space.
The “restless” desk could always be with me.
My child became a goad and muse and “Virgil” for The Iovis Trilogy: Color in the Mechanism of Concealment, which was a 25 year project.
My writing in performance and with music is influenced in places by my son’s strategies and decisions as a musician and creator of “soundscapes,” and his feedback when we collaborate.
Try to listen to some of our “Manatee/Humanity” pieces. Go to the Fast Speaking Music website- also there’s an interview with the 2 of us somewhere – you can reach it through my website: www.annewaldman.org.