Stimulating Plants, Potions, and Herbcraft
By Dale Pendell
(North Atlantic Books, Hardcover, 9781556438882, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 3, 2009
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
This is the second volume of North Atlantic Books’ hard cover edition of Dale Pendell's Pharmako trilogy, an encyclopedic study of the history and uses of psychoactive plants and related synthetics first published between 1995 and 2005. The books form an interrelated suite of works that provide the reader with a unique, reliable, and often personal immersion in this medically, culturally, and spiritually fascinating subject. All three books are beautifully designed and illustrated, and are written with unparalleled authority, erudition, playfulness, and range.
Pharmako/Dynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions, and Herbcraft focuses on stimulants (including coffee, tea, chocolate, and coca and its derivatives) and empathogens (notably Ecstasy). Each substance is explored in detail, not only with information on its history, pharmacology, preparation, and cultural and esoteric correspondences, but also the subtleties of each plant's effect on consciousness in a way that only poets can do. The whole concoction is sprinkled with abundant quotations from famous writers, creating a literary brew as intoxicating as its subject.
The Pharmako series also includes Pharmako/Poeia (which covers tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, opiates, salvia divinorum, and other substances) and Pharmako/Gnosis (which addresses psychedelics and shamanic plants).
Plant student Dale Pendell established himself as one of the foremost popular exponents of shamanic ethnobotany with his unprecedented Pharmako trilogy. A noted poet, he was the founding editor of the avant-garde magazine Kuksu and a co-founder of the Primitive Arts Institute and has led workshops on ethnobotany and ethnopoetics for the Naropa Institute and the Omega Institute. Pendell was part of the Oracular Madness theme camp at Burning Man for a number of years (his book Inspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man was published by Frog Books in 2006). Also an experienced computer scientist, he lives in California's Sierra foothills.
"A poet, ethnobotanist, and amateur chemist, he’s the best writer on drugs to come along since the late Terence McKenna."
—The Village Voice
"Dale Pendell, most elegant eloquent writer on drugs because both scientist and poet, has exuded a book as charming as The Compleat Angler or Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste. It will be preserved amongst the scriptures of an entheogenic revival that will recognize the scribe Pendell as an inspired prophet and forerunner."
"Dale Pendell’s books are elegant tapestries of accurate chemistry, pharmacology, and botany, interwoven with rich poetical imagery. I use them as textbooks in a large annual undergraduate class which I teach at the University of California in Berkeley. The students love them?"
—David E. Presti, PhD, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org