“But all were urging a clarity to me about what there was of value in the N[ew] A[merican] P[oetry] that ironically finally made me look beyond it without ever abandoning what I thought was valuable. Olson’s insistence on a projection of poetry outside the box of literature into the field of anthropological, archeological, linguistic, social, political, unfoldings wrapped up in what we get from the top . . . not as topical as newspaper but people die every day because they do not grasp what is in these (to paraphrase Wms.).
. . . . .
“In 1960 I went to Cuba for the 1st anniversary of the July 26 Movement triumph in Cuba. The first celebration which saw thousands of invited guests from all over the world, including de Beauvoir, Sagan, Sartre, Robert Williams, Harold Cruse, Julian Mayfield. I wrote an essay, ‘Cuba Libre,’ which won an award and that was discussed in our letters as well as back and forth from Olson.
“The sense is that I had made a step, that I had taken some action, that there were real life dangers, the field was real life not just a poetic allusion, both physical and philosophical, — ideological – that should be discussed. But it was Olson and Dorn who did not back away from the discussion. As some who thought that my headlong flight into Revolutionary rhetoric was somehow heresy.
“But that was the openness I treasured, the lack of fear at heading into areas that many of our free and open crowd thought out of bounds. And this movement into the rush of political challenge was leading me where America and the world was going in real life.”
– Amiri Baraka Ed Dorn & the Western World