By turns a handbook of countercultural living, a manual for street
protest, and a feminist broadside against the repressive state
apparatus, Revolutionary Letters is a modern classic, as relevant today as it was at its inception, 50 years ago.
the tumult of 1968, Beat poet Diane di Prima began writing her
"letters," poems filled with a potent blend of utopian anarchism and
Zen-tinged ecological awareness that were circulated via underground
newspapers and stapled pamphlets. In 1971, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
published the first collection of these poems in his iconic Pocket Poets
Series, and di Prima would go on to publish four subsequent editions,
expanding the collection each time. During the last years of her life,
di Prima got to work on the final iteration of this lifelong project,
collecting all of her previously published "letters" and adding the new
work, poems written from 2007 up to the time of her death in October
2020. Published in a board-bound edition that proudly features the
original edition's cover art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
"Revolutionary Letters is a practical guide to visionary
living, a necessary handbook for all who fight for the end of prisons,
borders, and environmental degradation. Its poems mourn, conspire, and
command, by turns sensuous, brisk, and searing. Di Prima challenges us
endlessly to be equal to our own bodies, to the body of the earth:
'sense and sex are boundless, & the call / is to be boundless with
them.' I turn to this book when I am depleted by the news, because di
Prima's voice is heartening, an offering of strength."—Sophia Dahlin, author of Natch
Hardcover Book, 213 pages.