brought the influential Beat writers of the earlier decade together with younger writers experimenting with language, with modes of perception, and with new styles of presentation. With Allen Ginsberg, she founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and she was one of the central figures in the movement stressing the dramatic performance of poetry.
When Waldman presents her own poetry in public, her voice becomes an instrument that can move from whisper to scream to spine-tingling howl in the space of a very few syllables. Through it all, she has kept publishing somewhere over forty books now, and still counting.
She has never written an autobiography, and she has never needed to. In Waldman's passionately intellectual world there are no divisions between the life and the imagination. Still, her recent Vow to Poetry, which gathers together essays, interviews, and poetic manifestos, provides a lot of detail about the life behind this extraordinary body of work.