David Landis Barnhill is Director of Environmental Studies and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is the translator of Basho's Haiku: Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho and the coeditor (with Roger S. Gottlieb) of Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground, both also published by SUNY Press.
Her country's freedom now under attack, Suzanne finds herself without a job and without a purpose. Finding a severance notice in her inbox, she leaves behind her comfortable executive lifestyle and journeys alone beyond her comfort zone to liberate her spirit and claim personal freedom.
Traveling with a sense of adventure in her heart and only what possessions she can carry in a backpack, she finds her way to the far corners of the world where few have ventured. Suzanne takes us on a rich, personal odyssey, returning home one year later to Ground Zero where it all began. As she returns to her beloved city, she is filled with renewed purpose, a broader perspective of the world, and a greater understanding of herself and humanity.
All the Time in the World, a first work of prose by the poet Hugo Williams, was originally published in 1966 and commemorates Williams' effort at age 21 to 'travel the world': the Middle East, India, South-East Asia, Japan and Australia. Rich with striking and vivid perceptions of people and places and perilous forms of transport, the account also finds Williams acquiring precious life-experience, even as the setting moves from the self-evident 'poem' of India's landscape to barren, petrified Northern Australia. In Calcutta Williams looks up the great Satyajit Ray through the telephone book. In Thailand he meets a girl at a dance-hall, moves into her sunny flat, contemplates staying. But to England he will return, albeit by the most unexpectedly arduous leg of his amazing journey.
Over the course of an adventured-filled life, now in its tenth decade, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been many things: a poet, painter, pacifist, publisher, courageous defender of free speech, and owner of San Francisco’s legendary City Lights bookstore. Now the man whose A Coney Island of the Mind became a generational classic reveals yet another facet of his manifold talents, presenting here his travel journals, spanning over sixty years. Selected from a vast trove of mostly unpublished, handwritten notebooks, and edited by Giada Diano and Matthew Gleeson, Writing Across the Landscape becomes a transformative work of social, cultural, and literary history.
Beginning with Ferlinghetti's account of serving as a commanding officer on a Navy sub-chaser during D-Day, Writing Across the Landscape dramatically traverses the latter half of the twentieth century. For those only familiar with his poetry, these pages present a Lawrence Ferlinghetti never before encountered, an elegant prose stylist and tireless political activist who was warning against the pernicious sins of our ever-expansive corporate culture long before such thoughts ever seeped into mainstream consciousness.
Yet first and foremost we see an inquisitive wanderer whose firsthand accounts of people and places are filled with pungent descriptions that animate the landscapes and cultures he encounters. Evoking each journey with a mixture of travelogue and poetry as well as his own hand-drawn sketches, Ferlinghetti adopts the role of an American bard, providing panoramic views of the Cuban Revolution in Havana, 1960, and a trip through Haiti, where voodoo and Catholicism clash in cathedrals "filled with ulcerous children's feet running from Baron Hunger." Reminding us that poverty is not only to be found abroad, Ferlinghetti narrates a Steinbeck-like trip through California's Salton Sea, a sad yet exquisitely melodic odyssey from motel to motel, experiencing the life "between cocktails, between filling stations, between buses, trains, towns, restaurants, movies, highways leading over horizons to another Rest Stop…Sad hope of all their journeys to Nowhere and back in dark Eternity."
Particularly memorable is his journey across the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1957, which turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare in which he, lacking a proper visa, is removed from a Japan-bound freighter and forced back across the Russian steppe to Moscow, encountering a countryside more Tolstoy than Khrushchev, while nearly dying in the process. Readers are also treated to glimpses of Ezra Pound, "looking like an old Chinese sage," whom Ferlinghetti espies in Italy, as well as fellow Beat legends Allen Ginsberg and a dyspeptic William S. Burroughs, immured with his cats in a grotto-like apartment in London.
Embedded with facsimile manuscript pages and an array of poems, many never before published, Writing Across the Landscape revives an era when political activism coursed through the land and refashions Lawrence Ferlinghetti, not only as a seminal poet but as an historic and singular American voice.