Diane Wakoski

Softcover, 348 pages
ISBN: 0-87685-744-6
2005 $18.95


Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987
by Diane Wakoski

Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award
of the Poetry Society of America

"Lyrical ... shocking ... sensual ... powerful ... steeped in domestic surrealism and personal mythology ... A fine introduction to a brilliant and accomplished poet.
—San Francisco Chronicle  

"Wakoski strives for a voice that is wholly natural, spontaneous, and direct. She avoids all fixed forms ... in the drive to tell us the Whole Truth about herself, to be sincere."  
—Marjorie Perloff

In 1988, at the age of fifty, Diana Wakoski selected the poems in Emerald Ice from her first sixteen books of poetry. Here, returned to print at last, are all the famous (and infamous) lyrics, series, and narratives that established Wakoski as a mythologizer of sex and self, a fierce free-verse imagist, and one of the most important and controversial poets to come out of California in the 1960s.

About these poems, Wakoski writes: “My themes are loss, justice, truth, transformation, the duality of the world, the possibilties of magic, and the creation of beauty out of ugliness. My language is dramatic, oral, and as American as I can make it. I am impatient with stupidity, bureaucracy, and organizations. Poetry, for me, is the supreme art of the individual using language to show how special, different, and wonderful his perceptions are. With verve and finesse. With discursive precision. And with utter contempt for pettiness of imagination or spirit.”

Emerald Ice is a contemporary classic, the essential poems of a uniquely American female sensibility.


Softcover, 260 pages
ISBN: 1-57423-144-8
2000, $17.95


The Butcher’s Apron:
New & Selected Poems (including “Greed: Part 14”)
by Diane Wakoski

“Wakoski is a dedicated independent . . . self-mythologizing, autobiographically grounded, at her strongest when most self-consciously outspoken. The occasion of this second selected poems . . . may be the time to lift her [above] her cult constituency.” ––Publishers Weekly

“Dipping into this volume is like sticking your finger into a pot of honey. Highly recommended.” ––Library Journal

Diane Wakoski's twenty-fifth book is also her second selected poems, complementing Emerald Ice by gathering her best work from 1988 to 2000.

“All the poems in this collection,” she writes, “describe the ongoing process of discovering beauty and acquiring an aesthetic sensibility via food”––seeing and savoring it, cooking and sharing it, reaching out to all creation and drawing it in, devouring it, lapping it up, literally becoming one with it. In the title poem, chosen by Adrienne Rich for inclusion in Best American Poetry, the poet recalls an early memory of delight in pure color––“Red stains on a clean white bib . . . crimson blood on canvas.” Blood and crisp cotton as ink and paper, bread and wine as flesh and blood, the meal as art and as sacrament––this is the stuff of The Butcher’s Apron, a feast for lovers of good food and good poetry, and for those who, “as some women love jewels, love the jewels of life.”


Softcover,  188 pages
ISBN: 1-57423-046-8
1995, $15.95


The Archaeology of Movies & Books:
Vol. 4—Argonaut Rose
by Diane Wakoski

Softcover,  208 pages
ISBN: 0-87685-971-6
1994, $15.95


The Archaeology of Movies & Books:
Vol. 3—The Emerald City of Las Vegas
by Diane Wakoski

Softcover,  208 pages
ISBN: 0-87685-902-3
1992, $14.95


The Archaeology of Movies & Books:
Vol. 2—Jason the Sailor
by Diane Wakoski

Softcover,  188 pages
ISBN: 0-87685-809-4
1990, $14.95


The Archaeology of Movies & Books:
Vol. 1—Medea the Sorceress
by Diane Wakoski

A sustained meditation on personal past and the secret nature of reality, this multi-volume work unearths a wealth of hidden meanings from the first-person-historical dimensions recording a Southern California girlhood, moves to Berkeley, Nevada and Michigan, and the chain of great expectations developed along the way--built out of Hollywood movie dreams ("imagining our lives, instead of living them") and inevitably shattered by disappointing and betraying real-life relationships. The bittersweet and ironic evocations of the failed loves of her life make this among the most moving as well as revealing of Wakoski's books.

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