Over half a century later, Angkor Wat by luke kurtis is both the artist's homage to Ginsberg's text as well a celebration of his own pilgrimages to the ancient city. Published in 1968, Ginsberg's Angkor Wat book was a single long poem accompanied by photographs by Alexandra Lawrence. kurtis's book is a suite of poems paired with his original photography. Chronicling the poet's own travels where he explored mythical stories and experienced mystical visions, kurtis's poems take you on a tour of Angkor Wat (and beyond) unlike any other and tell the story of one American poet deepening his Buddhist spirituality.
Interweaving the political and the personal, this collection of poems speaks out on important issues facing the United States today, from gay rights, gun violence, and black lives to technology, the environment, fundamentalist religion, and beyond.
kurtis has written a poetic manifesto firmly rooted in our times while keenly keeping an eye on the past, whether in the title poem’s evocation of the Queen of Sheba or references to ancient Greece and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in “the pillaged edifice.” exam(i)nation questions many things about the era we live in but reaches out in an intersectional embrace to tell stories about who we are collectively, filtering our light through a prism that renders a beautiful rainbow.
Not a typical selected-works collection, nor exclusively new work, the immeasurable fold is based upon a manuscript of poems written in early 2000 titled lazy dreams and other memories. Though the full-length manuscript remains unpublished, in 2005 kurtis included a selection of those poems (along with a few newer ones) in his debut solo exhibition, for which he used the same title. bd-studios.com published a small, limited edition exhibition catalog of those poems and photographs. Long out-of-print, those poems, additional/unpublished poems from the original manuscript, as well as new poems written in the years since—altogether spanning a decade and a half, from 2000 through 2015—have been compiled in this new collection.