Henry Munn

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Henry Munn is a writer and poet who studied the use of hallucinogenic plants by the Conibo Indians of eastern Peru and also the Mazatec Indians of the mountains of Oaxaca. He made numerous contributions to the field of ethnopoetics, a vaguely defined movement of twentieth century experimental poetry aiming to build upon and preserve the writings and traditions of so-called "deep cultures – those surviving in situ as well as those that had vanished except for transcriptions in books or recordings from earlier decades..."[1]

Munn's writings on psychedelics, specifically his widely read essay "The Mushrooms of Language",[2] have influenced the prolific proponent of hallucinogens Terence McKenna, as cited in his book Food of the Gods. He translated "The Life of Maria Sabina," written by Alvaro Estrada, the brother of Munn's wife Natividad Estrada, into English. Natividad was a Mazatec speaking resident of Huautla de Jimenez.

Henry Munn died in February 2014.


  1. ^ Ubuweb: Ethnopoetics at http://www.ubu.com/ethno/index.html preserves the work of many of the original ethnopoets including Henry Munn, Tristan Tzara, Jerome Rothenburg and Antonin Artaud.
  2. ^ "The Mushrooms of Language." Essay by Henry Munn available at http://diseyes.lycaeum.org/fresh/langyg.htm