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The Japan and India Journals, 1960–1964
Joanne Kyger; Anne Waldman, fwd.

2016 • 296 pp. 9 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Travel Essays & Travelogues / Poetry

$18.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-43-4

“A fantastically attentive and personal glimpse into a moment in time when Joanne Kyger was coming into her own as a poet. She lives in Japan, travels to India, sees... [continued in Reviews below]”—Forrest Gander,

A reissue of Joanne Kyger’s classic journal from her travels through Asia during the 1960s

First published in 1981, The Japan and India Journals, 1960–1964 is Joanne Kyger’s journal of her four tumultuous years in Japan and India as a young poets in her late twenties. This book chronicles her developing poetic sensibility, emergent Buddhist practice, and what it meant to be a woman trying to write in pre-feminist Beat days. Attentive, witty, and always entertaining, this is poet’s prose at its best.

Reviews / Endorsements

“A fantastically attentive and personal glimpse into a moment in time when Joanne Kyger was coming into her own as a poet. She lives in Japan, travels to India, sees The Mother in Pondicherry, watches Ginsberg in front of the Dalai Lama, etc. She is always gardening, wherever she goes. And that becomes one of the investments her later poems, written in Bolinas, draw so much of their phenomenal particularity from.”—Forrest Gander

“Here is a classic of zig-zag Zen. It conjures an era when certain Americans, seeing the pointlessness of USA consumerism, went overseas. They were willing to live cheap, immerse themselves in Zen and yoga, and learn Asian life-ways. You watch Joanne Kyger become a poet in these pages—writing daily, schooling herself in travel, friendship, marriage (unexpected), and the customs of post-War Japan. Four months in India with Snyder and Ginsberg recall a time when the adventuresome could walk in and talk to the Dalai Lama, stay at the Aurobindo Ashram, or match wits with sadhus, yogis, and philosophers. Put The Japan and India Journals alongside Mark Twain’s travel books, for relentless candor and dry smart humor.”—Andrew Schelling

“In language forever lucent, Kyger is always all present—natural, graceful, honest. One is never her student, though the work is sensei in dialogue with us. THE VERGE—is the only creative/truly creative/moment—when things have not yet condemned them/selves—by coming alive—to extinction. The Japan & India Journals introduce the reader to a mind and life of attention. Keep this book close to you as a cherished wedding ring.”—Gloria Frym

One of the major poets of the Beat Generation, JOANNE KYGER was born in 1934. In 1960, she traveled to Japan to be with her then-husband Gary Snyder. In 1962 they traveled to India, where, along with Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, they met the Dalai Lama. She returned to California in 1964 and settled in Bolinas in 1969, where she resides today. She has published over 30 books of poetry and prose, including On Time and As Ever: Selected Poems.  

Sun, 3 Jun 2018 18:08:26 -0500