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Publisher's Summary

"First thought, best thought." This was the phrase that poet Allen Ginsberg used to describe spontaneous and fearless writing, a way of telling the truth that arises from naked and authentic experience. For more than 30 years, groundbreaking teachers at Naropa University such as Ginsberg and his colleagues Anne Waldman, William S. Burroughs, and Diane di Prima have inspired emerging poets and prose writers to express themselves with unfettered honesty and immediacy. Now, with First Thought, Best Thought, the first landmark release from Naropa University's treasured audio archives, you are invited to meet and learn with these literary mentors face-to-face as they share the secrets of their craft.

Selected and edited by poet and Naropa alumnus Randy Roark from thousands of hours of performance and teaching sessions, First Thought, Best Thought brings you four rare gems of inspiration and practical wisdom, including:

  • William S. Burroughs teaching his breakthrough methods for generating fresh writing - including the cut-up method, chance operations, and dreamwork
  • Diane di Prima on how to survive as an artist - preserving your sensibility, creating a supportive artistic community, getting published, self-publishing, and much more
  • Allen Ginsberg exploring every stage of poetic activity - from inspiration, to composition, to revision, to performing your poetry in public
  • Anne Waldman on the elements of the poet's craft - from the raw material of the words themselves to the many aspects of the poem in performance

©2004 William S. Burroughs, Diane DiPrima, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman (P)2004 William S. Burroughs, Diane DiPrima, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman

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  • Brendan, London
  • 05-01-21

Pushing it

This is a very minor offering in terms of content. Four lectures. The Ginsburg one is interesting and charismatic, but you’d hope for much more for this price.