Lionel Trilling and Allen Ginsberg: Liberal Father, Radical Son

Lionel Trilling and Allen Ginsberg:Liberal Father, Radical Sonby Adam Kirsch

from Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2009

In the spring of 1944, as the Second World War neared its turning point, the first skirmishes of the generational battle that would define postwar America were taking place in a lecture hall at Columbia University. When Allen Ginsberg, then a seventeen-year-old freshman, signed up to study the Great Books with Lionel Trilling, neither one of them could have suspected that they were about to begin a lifelong friendship that was also a mortal combat—over literature and politics, morality and maturity, liberalism and … Read More

Vancouver Poetry Conference 1963

[Jerry Heiserman (later Sufi “Hassan”), the late “Red” a poet, Allen Ginsberg, Bobbie Louise Hawkins Creeley, Warren Tallman, Robert Creeley above Charles Olson, left to right top rows; seated left Thomas Jackrell then student poet, Philip Whalen & Don Allen anthologist & Postmodern Poetics editor, last days of Vancouver Poetry Conference late July 1963, car parked in front of host professor Tallman’s house — he’d sent me a ticket to come back from a year and half in India for the assembly — which included Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov. (c. Allen Ginsberg Estate)]

[Robert Creeley, Vancouver, July 1963. c. … Read More

Now, for a little sumptin’ on the academic side:

Call for Papers: Whitman & The BeatsMarch 26-28 2010St. Francis College Brooklyn, NY

The English and Communication Arts Departments at St. Francis College calls for papers that celebrate the influence of Walt Whitman on Beat writers including but not limited to Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac.

We seek papers that break new ground in addressing Whitman’s presence in the works of Beat writers, the reception of Whitman’s poetry by the Beats, and papers which address how the legacy of the Beats, their perspectives of their era and artistic innovations, may be traced to whitman’s influence on American … Read More

Aram Saroyan: What did we learn from Ted Berrigan, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg?

[Original artwork by Paul Killebrew]

What did we learn from Ted Berrigan, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg?

by Aram Saroyan (via Poetry Foundation)

It’s been more than a decade since the death of Allen Ginsberg, but in the interim I’ve found that he’s stayed with me as an informing, tempering, guardian-like presence of a stature equaled only by my late father. Allen and I were never really friends, but having said that I feel an urgency to qualify and emend it. He meant as much as or more than any friend I can think of, and in … Read More

Holy Barbarians: Lawrence Lipton, Gregory Corso , Anais Nin and Ginsberg’s stripping act

As part of the Larry Harnisch Reflects on Los Angeles History series, the LA Times reprinted the section of Lawrence Lipton’s Holy Barbarians where Allen strips naked at a poetry reading in response to a heckler. They’ve also posted Allen’s as well as Anais Nin’s version of the same night. Though he only did this stripping act maybe a few times after, it was this 1956 reading that got him the reputation for doing it all the time. Read more >>

2012 – This “infamous incident” is addressed more thoroughly, and properly contextualized, by The Allen Ginsberg Project hereRead More

Simon Vinkenoog RIP

[Simon Vinkenoog on July 9, 2009. by Derrick Bergman via Webstek Simon Vinkenoog ]

Dutch poet & translator Simon Vinkenoog passed away yesterday in Amsterdam at the age of 80 while recovering from a leg amputation. Often referred to as the Marijuana Ambassador stemming from days he spent in jail for marijuana possession in the mid 1960s, his poetry career began in 1950 with his first collection of poetry Wondkoorts, shortly followed by the anthology Atonaal that he edited, which is said to have lauched the Dutch 50s movement. (Not familiar with that one!) and had a prolific output since. … Read More

The Dial-A-Poem Poets

John Giorno’s Dial-A-Poem/Giorno Poetry Systems series are a trove of recordings starting from 1972 and going strong until the last issue Cash Cow in 1993. The earliest collections being strictly poetry & literature, with a formidable roster including the likes of Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, Taylor Mead, Joe Brainard, William Burroughs, & Jim Carroll to name just a few. Later the series expanded into more musical collaborations with Psychic TV, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Sonic Youth, Diamanda Galas, Philip Glass, Einstürzende Neubauten, David Johansen and many more. Almost the entire catalog is all available on line via ubuweb, but … Read More

Crisis in Honduras (Petition)

Our friends Joseph Richey and his wife Anne Becher translated this call by a collective of Central American Poetry Festivals in hopes of extending its reach. Please distribute widely and consider signing on, since, as Joseph says “It would mean a lot to those in Honduras and throughout Central America. Sometimes it’s as simple as an acknowledgment that we are attentive to what is going on when these political catastrophes begin.” To sign on in solidarity, please send an email to Norberto Salinas norberto@festivaldepoesiacr.com

A Call from Central America:

Quetzaltenango, San Salvador, Panamá, San José, Medellín, July 1, 2009 In … Read More

Ferlinghetti Documentary

[caption: Lawrence Ferlinghetti in his office with pooch, Whitman photo, files, coat racks, book bags, psters, at City Lights up on balcony, B’way and Columbus Avenues, San Francisc, October 1984. Allen Ginsberg. photo: c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Chris Felver has photographed Lawrence Ferlinghetti probably more than anyone else by a long shot, (except for the photo above snapped by Allen) so on that level at least, he might be an ideal candidate for tackling a documentary on the San Francisco literary icon. Not seen the documentary yet, but we’re going to recommend it based on some very good feedback from … Read More

The Beats At Naropa Edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright. Coffee House Press

I know we seem a bit biased towards things Naropa around here. Anything even remotely associated and we drop everything else and write up a storm. So here we go again, but it really is relevant, after all, the Writing in Poetics department was Allen’s baby, and we are all genuinely excited, especially about this one collection of lectures that Anne Waldman and Laura Wright have been working on for quite some time. For a table of contents, check Amazon dot com, while the Coffee House Press site offer other appetizers to fill you in. And, of course, there’s … Read More