News Services Staff
Andrew Schelling is an essayist, translator of poetry, world traveler, amateur naturalist and cultural bridge-builder, who teaches poetry, Sanskrit and wilderness writing at the Naropa Institute while devoting a good deal of time and energy to environmental issues.
These two arresting figures in the world of contemporary poetry have been referred by Mexican poet-translator David Huerta as among "the eyes of the imagination and memory of the United States."
Waldman and Schelling will be at UB as guests of the English Department Poetics Program on Wednesday, March 13, to present their work in public performance.
They will give a joint poetry reading at 4 p.m. in the Screening Room (Room. 114) of the Center for the Arts on the North Campus. The event is free of charge and open to the public. It is sponsored by the James H. McNulty Chair in the Department of English (Dennis Tedlock).
Provocative, high-spirited Anne Waldman is one of the great poetic voices of this era. A publishing poet for nearly 30 years, her richly humorous work has been acclaimed for its innovation, musical language and "splendidly uninhibited aesthetic opportunism."
The open-form or projective verse style used by Waldman is by definition grounded in a belief in the correspondence between the poet's inner and outer worlds.
"...One must go back to Whitman," wrote critic John Hinchey, "to find precedent for Waldman's astonishingly unstudied practical faith that discoveries of self are revelations of a world and vice versa."
Her best-known work is "Fast Speaking Woman," a 600-line chant-poem published in 1974 that holds the reader's attention with what one critic called its desperate and playful creative recklessness-a poem "whose imaginative power inheres in the immediacy of its language...."
Waldman is also the author of "Skin Meat Bones" and "Helping the Dreamer," and many other works, most recently, "Iovis," an epic mytho-poem that explores and describes a female universe. Gary Snyder called it "a net of language and spirit that opens out the possibilities of writing and our enactment of archetypes in one long breath."
Another recent collection is titled "Kill or Care," and offers a bold prescriptive for our apocalyptic times. It is a book, writes the San Francisco Chronicle, in which "life hammers away in the present-time psyche of one gifted woman." Forthcoming titles include "The Beat Book," an anthology of Beat writings; "Iovis II" and a 20th anniversary reprint edition of "Fast Speaking Woman."
Waldman, co-founder and director of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute, is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She also teaches for the Schule fÄr Dictung in Vienna.
A student of Buddhism, she has been traveling to India and Nepal since 1970 and this spring she will be teaching poetry in Bali.
Atranslator and essayist of rigorous sen- suality, Andrew Schelling grew up in New England, his sensibilities informed by the region's resurgent conifer forests, anthropology museums and Asian art collections. He later moved to northern California, where he studied Sanskrit language and literature at the University of California at Berkeley while conducting investigations into ethnopoetics, wilderness studies and Asian cultures.
His volumes of translation include "For Love of the Dark One: Songs of Mirabai" and "Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India," which won the 1992 Academy of American Poets prize for translation. He has been celebrated for his "profoundly inquisitive nature, fearless and tender...(revealed) in...shining journal fragments, poems, essays and translations." (Rikki Ducornet)
Schelling, chair of the Department of Writing and Poetics at the Naropa Institute, has taught and given readings and lectures in Europe, Canada and Mexico, as well as throughout the U.S., and has traveled widely in Asia. His 11 books include "Moon is a Piece of Tea," "The India Book: Essays from Indian Asia" and most recently, "Old Growth: Poems and Notebooks, 1986-1994," forays into the past, present and future of the world's continents.
He has collaborated with Anne Waldman on three books: "Disembodied Poetics: Annals of The Jack Kerouac School," "The Quenching of the Lamp" and the soon-to-be published, "Sons and Daughters of the Buddha."
Schelling's recent work appears in Sulfur, Talisman, "The Whole Earth Millennial Catalogue," "The Poetics of Criticism," "Primary Trouble," Tricycle: The Buddhist Journal and The Journal of Vaishnava Studies.