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Today, 2018

Spring and Autumn Annals: A Celebration of the Seasons for Freddie


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"The book is a treasure. ... Diane di Prima is one of the greatest writers of her generation, and this book offers a window into its lives."--Chris Kraus "Diane Di Prima's Spring and Autumn Annals arrives as a long-lost charm of illuminated meditations to love, life, death, eros and selflessness. An essential 1960s text of visionary rapaciousness."--Thurston Moore "[Freddie "The book is a treasure. ... Diane di Prima is one of the greatest writers of her generation, and this book offers a window into its lives."--Chris Kraus "Diane Di Prima's Spring and Autumn Annals arrives as a long-lost charm of illuminated meditations to love, life, death, eros and selflessness. An essential 1960s text of visionary rapaciousness."--Thurston Moore "[Freddie Herko] wished for a third love before he died; and what a love is in this book's beholding, saying, and release. Di Prima's dancing narrative, propelled and circling at the speed of thought, picking up every name and detailed perception as a rolling tide, fills me with gratitude for the truth of her eye. Nothing gets past it, not even the 'ballet slippers letting in the snow.'"--Ana Bozičevic "A masterpiece of literary reflection, as quest to archive her dancer friend's life, to make art at all costs and the price dearly paid. ... di Prima's poetic memoir of the artist journey is a triumph. A must read and reread for years to come."--Karen Finley "A Beat poet's journal following the suicide of her closest friend encompasses many seasons and cycles of life and death. ... With evocative detail and introspective insight, she writes of that loss and the feeling of being turned loose, occasionally unmoored, struggling to create art through years of living in barely habitable apartments. ... A useful document for scholars of the Beat generation."-- Kirkus Reviews In the autumn of 1964, Diane di Prima was a young poet living in New York when her dearest friend, dancer, choreographer, and Warhol Factory member, Freddie Herko, leapt from the window of a Greenwich Village apartment to a sudden, dramatic, and tragic death at the age of 29. In her shock and grief, di Prima began a daily practice of writing to Freddie. For a year, she would go to her study each day, light a stick of incense, and type furiously until it burned itself out. Later, di Prima would take up this stream-of-consciousness manuscript and make it into something for others to read. The result is an eloquent ode to her friend; to the constellation of writers, artists, and revolutionaries who made up their community; and to the chaos and struggle of lives lived fully in the pursuit of personal and artistic goals while the world around them hurtles toward changes that will soon upend everything. The narrative ranges over the decade from 1954--the year di Prima and Herko first met--to 1965, with occasional forays into di Prima's memories of growing up in Brooklyn. Lyrical, elegant, and nakedly honest, Spring and Autumn Annals is a moving tribute to a friendship, and to the extraordinary innovation and accomplishments of the period. Masterfully observed and passionately recorded, it offers a uniquely American portrait of the artist as a young woman in the heyday of bohemian New York City.
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