Plant student Dale Pendell established himself as one of the foremost popular exponents of shamanic ethnobotany with his unprecedented Pharmako trilogy. A noted poet, he was the founding editor of the avant-garde magazine Kuksu and a cofounder of the Primitive Arts Institute and has led workshops on ethnobotany and ethnopoetics for the Naropa Institute and the Omega Institute. Pendell was part of the Oracular Madness theme camp at Burning Man for a number of years (his book Inspired Madness- The Gifts of Burning Man was published by Frog Books in 2006). Also an experienced computer scientist, he lives with his wife Laura in California's Sierra foothills.
"Dale Pendell reactivates the ancient connection between the bardic
poet and the shaman. His Pharmako/Poeia is a litany to the
secret plant allies that have always accompanied us along the
alchemical trajectory that leads to a new and yet authentically
--Terence McKenna, author of True Hallucinations
"Much of our life-force calls upon the plant world for support, in medicines and in foods, as both allies and teachers. Pendell provides a beautifully crafted bridge between these two worlds. The magic he shares is that the voices are spoken and heard both ways; we communicate with plants and they with us. This book is a moving and poetic presentation of this dialogue."
--Dr.Alexander T. Shulgin, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Public Health
"Pharmako/Poeia is an epic poem on plant humours, an
abstruse alchemic treatise, an experiential narrative jigsaw
puzzle, a hip and learned wild-nature reference text, a comic paean
to cosmic consciousness, an ecological handbook, a dried-herb
pastiche, a counterculture encyclopedia of ancient fact and lore
that cuts through the present 'conservative' war-on-drugs
--Allen Ginsberg, poet "The great joy of Pharmako/Poeia lies in the simultaneous drawing out of simplicity and complexity. Simple, so far as it draws together the vast territory of the human-poison relationship into a single, poetic alchemy; yet complex, in that it blows apart the narrow simplistic understandings that stratify each bubble of understanding. This is a truly excellent book and should be on the shelves and minds of all poisoners, all students of life, literature and ethnobotany. Whether your poison is Salvia divinorum, tobacco, alcohol, Nitrous oxide, or bitter berry, or even just the unquenchable thirst of a psychoactive knowledge, this text should be a given."
--Psychedelic Press UK "Pendell demonstrates that the art of a cross-disciplined approach is not only still alive, but has the power to augment understandings above and beyond its parts. He reveals the depth to which scientific/poetic dichotomies are often no more than categorical fallacies."
--Dose Nation "Dale Pendell's remarkable book will make it impossible to ever again underestimate the most unprepossessing plant. This compendium of how-to-get-high-by-eating-your-lawn ethnological data is mind-boggling, useful, and serves as a fine end run around the guardians of 'official' consciousness."
--Peter Coyote, actor