Anne Waldman's Dream Book of Fez (preview) is a musical genome, the architecture of a landscape between language and beyond it. In the photopoetic distance between the tomb and womb of Waldman's "invisible family" we brush up against the fabric of unconsciousness and hear the spectral voice of Jean Genet say: "dreaming is nursed in darkness." Dream Book of Fez offers "gateways to power going both ways" while reaching for the "impossibly verbal" overlap of cultures. Waldman holds us in language as poet and mother; we return to Earth by her "mystical time," slowly bound and bonded by love.
“This, you are about to lend your will to, is a poem transformed by ‘courageous spiritual falsetto’ just as Waldman’s Fez is a city transformed by dream. Alongside her son, musician Ambrose Bye, Waldman's careful yet manic, motherly yet shamanic, strides revel in the surround and intimacy of ancient Moroccan cities, Fez, Larache and Chefchaouen. Through a mazing riff of place, dream, song, photograph and poem, Waldman investigates the duty and imprint of motherhood as a genetic transference, a steered vagabond, of creative spirit. What of song has the poet mother passed to her musician son? What of his dreams gyre from her lyrical vibrations, and what is left to leave for him, for his creations, but a spinning, labyrinthine language, an inherited city of ritual and impulse? Morocco drifts between mother and son, and the Dream Book is a composition that traces how two traverse and compose an experience, a dream manifesting between them, in rhythm and word. This journey has left Waldman in pursuit of a ‘mother’s love of son,’ he who in the reverie of their song calls out, ‘Mom, slow down.’ And who but her son could ask this of our bold and vital Anne Waldman—”
— Serena Chopra
is an internationally recognized and acclaimed poet, editor, teacher, performer, magpie scholar, infrastructure curator, cultural / political activist, and member of the “Outrider" experimental poetry community for over four decades. She is the author of more than 40 books, including Fast Speaking Woman, Vow to Poetry, Marriage: A Sentence, Manatee / Humanity, and the monumental antiwar feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment, a 25 year project. She was one of the founders and directors of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church Inthe Bowery, and she cofounded with Allen Ginsberg the celebrated Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, the first Buddhist inspired University in the western hemisphere.