Preserving Fire: Selected Prose
Preserving Fire: Selected Prose
Edited by Garrett Caples
Preserving Fire recounts the life and thought of Surrealist, Beat Generation, and San Francisco Renaissance poet Philip Lamantia through his fugitive prose works. Ranging from poetry to politics to mythology to dance, from manifestos to travelogues to wartime declarations of conscientious objection, these writings—expertly collected by Garrett Caples—offer a dynamic picture of Lamantia’s multifaceted intellectual life and the artistic movements he helped shape.
After decrying interpretation, Sontag notes that the ‘world, our world, is depleted, impoverished enough. Away with all duplicates of it, until we again experience more immediately what we have.’ This—experiencing immediately what we have, and being open to that experience—strikes me as the broad point of Lamantia’s work. It also seems a sound approach to reading Lamantia’s extensive body of poetry, and now his prose too. Which I recommend you do.
Kevin O'Rourke, Kenyon Review
We celebrate him [Philip Lamantia] and the remarkable posthumous work Wave Books have just put out.
The Allen Ginsberg Project
Lamantia’s belief in poetry’s alchemical powers to transform the individual through resistance to the most deadening effects of society shines through Preserving Fire...In the end, Lamantia’s is a voice of rebellious freedom. He always returns to what remains central, the unknowable fullness which inspires his work.
Patrick James Dunagan, Rain Taxi
Ranging from poetry to politics to mythology to dance, from manifestos to travelogues to wartime declarations of conscientious objection, these writings—expertly collected by Garrett Caples—offer a dynamic picture of Lamantia’s multifaceted intellectual life and the artistic movements he helped shape.
Live! From City Lights
Lamantia was an intense, complicated, often conflicted human being. Tracking his trajectory isn’t an easy task, but Caples provides an abundantly detailed mapping of Lamantia’s affections and disaffections, allegiances and abdications.
John Olson, Seedlings
It provides valuable insight into a poet whose career runs like a connecting, if often twisting, thread through some of the most important heterodox poetic movements of postwar America: Surrealism, the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat Generation, and beyond.
Daniel Barbiero, Arteidolia
Philip Lamantia (1927–2005) was an influential Surrealist, Beat, and San Francisco Renaissance poet. He is the author of many books, including Erotic Poems, Touch of the Marvelous, Meadowlark West, Tau and Journey to the End, and The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia.
Garrett Caples is the author of Lovers of Today (Wave Books, 2021), Power Ballads (Wave Books, 2016), Complications (2007), and The Garrett Caples Reader (1999), a collection of outtakes, The Rise & Fall of Johnny Volume (2020), and a bilingual selection, Noches Apátridas (Unstated Nights, 2019). He’s also written a book of essays, Retrievals (2014), and a pamphlet, Quintessence of the Minor (2010). He’s the editor of Philip Lamantia’s Preserving Fire: Selected Prose (2018), Samuel Greenberg’s Poems from the Greenberg MSS (2019), and Michael McClure’s Mule Kick Blues and Last Poems (2021), as well as the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (2013), Particulars of Place (2015) by Richard O. Moore, Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems (2016) by Frank Lima, and Arcana: A Stephen Jonas Reader (2019). He is an editor at City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight Poetry Series. He has a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in San Francisco.
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
ISBN# 9781940696706 (7x8.75 216pp; paperback)