In 1988 at the age of fifty Diana Wakoski selected the poems in Emerald Ice from her first sixteen books of poetry. Here returned to print at last are all the famous (and infamous) lyrics series and narratives that established Wakoski as a mythologizer of sex and self a fierce free-verse imagist and one of the most important and controversial poets to come out of California in the 1960s.
About these poems Wakoski writes: "My themes are loss justice truth transformation the duality of the world the possibilities of magic and the creation of beauty out of ugliness. My language is dramatic oral and as American as I can make it. I am impatient with stupidity bureaucracy and organizations. Poetry for me is the supreme art of the individual using language to show how special different and wonderful his perceptions are. With verve and finesse. With discursive precision. And with utter contempt for pettiness of imagination or spirit."
Emerald Ice is a contemporary classic the essential poems of a uniquely American female sensibility.
Diane Wakoski who was born in Southern California and educated at UC Berkeley lived and began her poetry career in New York City from 1960-1973. She has earned her living as a book store clerk a junior high school teacher in Manhattan a library story-teller a Visiting Writer and for ten years on-the-road by giving poetry readings on college campuses. She served as Poet in Residence at Michigan State University from 1975 until she retired as a University Distinguished Professor.
Her work has been published in more than twenty collections and many slim volumes of poetry since her first book Coins & Coffins was published by Hawk's Well Press in 1962. Her selected poems Emerald Ice won the William Carlos Williams Prize from the Poetry Society of America in 1989.
Her recent Emerald City of Las Vegas proves her to be "a prolific writer whose free verse proclamations and search for mythic meaning in modern America bring her close to the Beats" (LJ 8/95). Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information Inc.