Scenes of Life at the Capital

By Philip Whalen
Edited by David Brazil

Publication Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN# 9781940696928 (6X8.75, 152pp, paperback)

  • Written from 1969 to 1971, West Coast Beat poet Philip Whalen's "Scenes of Life at the Capital" is a lasting testament to the ambition, range, powers, and devotion of this crucially important American voice. Positioned among the Buddhist temples of Kyoto, Whalen looks across the ocean to address the new frontiers, political problems, and transformative hopes of the United States of the 1960s—so much of which still resonates today. In this new edition—with a deep and enlightening afterword by David Brazil—Whalen's poem is further cemented as a fundamental work in American literary history.

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  • Philip Whalen (1923–2002) was a central figure of the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movements. One of the readers at the historic Six Gallery reading, he was the author of numerous books of poetry and prose. A longtime practicing Buddhist, he was eventually ordained as a Zen monk and practiced at Zen Centers in New Mexico and San Francisco until his passing in 2002.

    David Brazil is a poet, pastor and translator. His third book of poetry, Holy Ghost (City Lights, 2017), was nominated for a California Book Award. With Kevin Killian, he co-edited The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater, 1945-1985. With China Okoye, he was the founding curator of the Berkeley Art Museum's Black Life series, focusing on cultural production in the African diaspora. He has presented his work at Cambridge University, Johns Hopkins, and San Francisco State University, among other venues. He lives in New Orleans.

 



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