DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland is pleased to welcome Clive Matson to discuss and sign Mainline to the Heart. This event is free and all are welcome!
About the Book:
This new edition of Clive Matson’s early poems includes all of Diane di Prima’s “Poets Press” version -- 1,000 copies were sold out in 1966-67 -- and adds significant uncollected pieces from the same period. At once obstreperous and innocent, these poems celebrate a place where emotion, sex, and religion come together with overwhelming intensity. In the 50s and 60s, Beat Generation writers were revisiting this edgy, full-blooded romantic tradition and Matson joined the exploration with youthful energy. But the quest was fraught with tension. Mainline to the Heart and Other Poems expresses a confluence of personal and historical forces. Clive Matson was coming of age at the same time the culture was at the height of its 1960s explosion. While the poems cast a sobering light on Beat exuberance, Matson’s vibrant imagery makes the personal, visionary, and sexual excitement impossible to deny.
About the Author:
Clive Matson arrived on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1960, a fresh-faced adolescent with a blank notebook under his arm. He quickly fell in with the Beat Generation – his first event was a reading at the Tenth Street Coffeehouse, where he met Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Diane di Prima. Matson and his first wife Erin Black immersed themselves in sex, hard drugs, and psychedelics of 1960s Bohemian life. Eventually Matson became overwhelmed and returned to the West Coast. He worked for Taxi Unlimited, a producers’ cooperative in Berkeley; briefly for the Free Clinic and for MOVE (men overcoming violence); and learned the craft of printing from Clifford Burke at Cranium Press. Psychotherapy, Vipassana meditation, and twelve-step programs became fixtures in his life. That Matson ultimately emerged drug-free and healthy gave him full appreciation for 1960s passion and honesty. These qualities are crucially important, he thinks, for the current era. “Coming to terms with my youthful, energetic voice has been a challenge,” he admits. “It helps that I hear, in these poems, both an urgent need to connect and full cognizance of the difficulties.” Mostly Matson writes from the itch in his body, and says he always has. He likes playing basketball, table tennis, and collecting minerals in the field. He lives in Oakland, California, where he helps bring up his eleven-year-old son, Ezra. (booksense)