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Preserving Fire: A meditation on the prose of Philip Lamantia
October 23, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
with Garrett Caples and Friends
Celebrating the release of
Preserving Fire: Selected Prose
By Philip Lamantia
Edited by Garrett Caples
published by Wave Books
Preserving Fire recounts the life and thought of Surrealist, Beat Generation, and San Francisco Renaissance poet Philip Lamantia through his fugitive prose works. Ranging from poetry to politics to mythology to dance, from manifestos to travelogues to wartime declarations of conscientious objection, these writings—expertly collected by Garrett Caples—offer a dynamic picture of Lamantia’s multifaceted intellectual life and the artistic movements he helped shape.
Philip Lamantia (1927–2005) was an influential Surrealist, Beat, and San Francisco Renaissance poet. He is the author of many books, including Erotic Poems, Touch of the Marvelous, Meadowlark West, Tau and Journey to the End, and The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia.
Garrett Caples is the editor of Philip Lamantia’s Preserving Fire: Selected Prose (Wave Books, forthcoming 2018), as well as the author of Power Ballads (Wave Books, 2016), Retrievals (2014), The Garrett Caples Reader (1999), Complications (2007), and Quintessence of the Minor (2010). He is also the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (2013), Particulars of Place (2015) by Richard O. Moore, and Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems (2016) by Frank Lima. He is an editor at City Lights Books and curates the Spotlight Poetry Series there. He was also a contributing writer to the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has written articles and blogged for the Poetry Foundation and occasionally blogs for blogcitylights.com. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in San Francisco.
Philip was a visionary like Blake, and he really saw the whole world in a grain of sand.
Philip Lamantia’s Collected Poems is beyond scale, weight, or measure. There is no proportion in this intertwining of soul-buildings. These are the inexorable and ineffable projects of an inspired consciousness set at full tilt in raging protest, kisses, prayers, blessings and outraged demands. All from the deepest silence and farthest travel. The reader’s excitement is carried by Lamantia’s spiritual and physical beat. This surreal and mantic project drives farther than anything before or after. Breathtaking! These works are of synesthetic beauty to the eye, the ear, and the open interior of the heart. They come from the peaks and herbs and forests where the meadowlark speaks.