Of Indigo and Saffron (Hardcover)
New and Selected Poems
University of California Press, 9780520262874, 344pp.
Publication Date: January 26, 2011
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This essential collection of Michael McClure's poetry contains the most original, radical, and visionary work of a major poet who has been garnering acclaim and generating controversy for more than fifty years. Ranging from A Fist Full, published in 1957, through Swirls in Asphalt, a new poem sequence, Of Indigo and Saffron is both an excellent introduction to this unique American voice and an impressive selection from McClure's landmark volumes for those already familiar with his boldly inventive work. One of the five poets who heralded the Beat movement in the 1955 Six Gallery reading in San Francisco, McClure reveals in his poetry a close kinship to Romanticism, Modernism, Surrealism, and Japanese haiku. These poems—grounded in imagination and a profound regard for the natural world—chart a poetic landscape of utter originality.
About the Author
Michael McClure (1932-2020) was an American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. He collaborated with prominent artists, poets, and musicians, including Allen Ginsberg, Jim Morrison, and Terry Riley. McClure's journalism was featured in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and he received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Obie Award. His books of poetry include Mysteriosos and Other Poems, Huge Dreams, and Rain Mirror.
Leslie Scalapino (1944–2010) taught at Mills College in Oakland and at Bard College in New York State. Among her many books are It's go in horizontal: Selected Poems, 1974–2006 (UC Press); Day Ocean State of Star's Night: Poems and Writings, 1989 and 1999–2006, and Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows.
Praise For Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems…
“A young reader can be inspired by McClure's radical questioning of the established social order at every turn. . . . McClure, among all the Beat poets, is perhaps the softest, most tender, most yielding.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“In the beginning—before hippies, Yippies and punks—there were the Beats. Poet and playwright Michael McClure, one of the youngest of the rebel artists, came to the fore in the 1960s with his scandalous theatrical work The Beard, his poetry readings with Jim Morrison and his song “Mercedes-Benz,” made famous by Janis Joplin. The book Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems gathers notable McClure works from 1956 to the 21st century.”
— Los Angeles Times
“McClure has not departed from his center-justified, breath-based lines in a career that has spanned more than half a century. . . . Like Philip Whalen, Charles Bukowski, and Jim Morrison (to whom one section is dedicated), McClure infuses ecstatic direct address and colloquial diction with an exquisite sensibility. . . . It's that deep-end quality that keeps generations of fans of Bukowski and Morrison from discovering McClure's work, but it's also what makes him a greater poet than either of them, as this summative volume, given a little indulgence, shows.”
— Publishers Weekly
“McClure's poetry seems as vital to the 21st century as it was to the 20th.”
— Library Journal
“. . . a poet who's been writing for 50 years and deserves more attention.”
— Huffington Post