Mesopotopia

Paperback
$20.00 US
On sale Feb 04, 2025 | 128 Pages | 9780143137023
From “one of the most important and irreducible living American poets” (Poetry Foundation) comes a powerful and prophetic collection of epic scope and vision

Mesopotopia explores the vast sweep of our accelerating, precipitous world. From the cradle to the grave, from the mysterious poetic origins of Mesopotamia to our own dystopias of the twenty-first century, Anne Waldman crafts a singular, radical investigation into the syncretic layers of quantum space and dreamtime. She invokes “studying” as the most compelling ritual and tool for evolution and travels to various fellahin worlds, treading metabolic pathways and ancient “antitheses realities,” and gleans sacred texts that speak urgently through the transports and telepathies of poetry. Troubadour dawn songs, pyramid texts, Buddhist mantra, canonical hours of Judeo-Christian tradition, Persian prayers, Druid sorcery, and the wild, gnarly syntax and modal structure of Waldman’s particular performative passion and wit are all conjured here.

What emerges is a meditation on the salient words of the French poet Antonin Artaud contemplating the destruction and rubble post–World War II: “We are not yet born, we are not yet in the world, there is not yet a world, things have not been made, the reason for being has not yet been found.” Mesopotopia—mythic maelstrom, rhythmic rite of passage, protolanguage trance dance—moves toward release and gnosis.
Anne Waldman is a revered poet, performer, professor, editor, and cultural activist. She is the author of more than forty-five books, including Gossamurmur, Manatee/Humanity, Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble, and the feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy, which won the 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Poetry. The recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Before Columbus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Waldman makes her home in New York City and in Boulder, Colorado, where she is a Distinguished Professor of Writing and Poetics and artistic director of the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University. View titles by Anne Waldman

About

From “one of the most important and irreducible living American poets” (Poetry Foundation) comes a powerful and prophetic collection of epic scope and vision

Mesopotopia explores the vast sweep of our accelerating, precipitous world. From the cradle to the grave, from the mysterious poetic origins of Mesopotamia to our own dystopias of the twenty-first century, Anne Waldman crafts a singular, radical investigation into the syncretic layers of quantum space and dreamtime. She invokes “studying” as the most compelling ritual and tool for evolution and travels to various fellahin worlds, treading metabolic pathways and ancient “antitheses realities,” and gleans sacred texts that speak urgently through the transports and telepathies of poetry. Troubadour dawn songs, pyramid texts, Buddhist mantra, canonical hours of Judeo-Christian tradition, Persian prayers, Druid sorcery, and the wild, gnarly syntax and modal structure of Waldman’s particular performative passion and wit are all conjured here.

What emerges is a meditation on the salient words of the French poet Antonin Artaud contemplating the destruction and rubble post–World War II: “We are not yet born, we are not yet in the world, there is not yet a world, things have not been made, the reason for being has not yet been found.” Mesopotopia—mythic maelstrom, rhythmic rite of passage, protolanguage trance dance—moves toward release and gnosis.

Author

Anne Waldman is a revered poet, performer, professor, editor, and cultural activist. She is the author of more than forty-five books, including Gossamurmur, Manatee/Humanity, Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble, and the feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy, which won the 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Poetry. The recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Before Columbus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Waldman makes her home in New York City and in Boulder, Colorado, where she is a Distinguished Professor of Writing and Poetics and artistic director of the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University. View titles by Anne Waldman

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