About the book and album

In 1963, Allen Ginsberg traveled to Cambodia and visited the ancient Khmer temples. He wrote “Angkor Wat,” an eponymous poem about the temple complex. It was a very different time: pre-Vietnam War, pre-Khmer Rouge, and before the bustling tourism trade that is now the lifeblood of Siem Reap. Yet the Angkor temples themselves remain a unique source of inspiration for poets and photographers who travel there from all over the world.

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.

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About the artist

luke kurtis is a Georgia-born interdisciplinary artist. Angkor Wat is his latest book in an ongoing series that combines photography, writing, and design, following INTERSECTION and The Language of History. He lives and works in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

kurtis has peered through the crowds of tourists and found a window on to the meditative spirit and beauty of Angkor—no small feat these days. His pictures and words evoke a place of peace and wonder and capture the complexity of elements that preserve the magnificence of a once-great empire.

John McDermott
author of Elegy: Reflections On Angkor

NYC Poetry Festival

bd will preview the book/album at the NYC Poetry Festival with exclusive advance copies and other merchandise. The festival takes place 29-30 July on Governors Island in NYC. For more information about the festival, please visit the NYC Poetry Festival website.

Further Information

For further information, please see the press release. Use our contact form to get in touch.