Not Forgetting Shig

[Shigeoshi (Shig) Murao, Cafe Trieste, North Beach, San Francisco, 1987. photo: Allen Ginsberg. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

We said we’d try and curtail posting too many Howl movie reviews. There’s been one or two snipes and gripes, but mostly the response has been pretty uniformly enthusiastic. The main difficulty for reviewers has been trying to come to terms withwhat sort of movie it is. It’s not your typical “bio pic”, it’s not actually a “bio pic” at all, it’s a rare thing, (a unique thing maybe), a movie about a poem! Tim Plant in his Metro Weekly review (out of … Read More

Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in New York

The Workcenter Jerzy Grotowski crew are back in New York City for the month of November, staging their I Am America & Electric Party performances that are all based on poems by Allen Ginsberg. They were in the area last Spring & dazzled and surprised us with their energy, enthusiasm & devotion to Allen’s work. For more information on Workcenter Jerzy Grotowski, or to find out where next on the planet they’ll be performing check their tumblr >>.… Read More

HOWL Reviews Keep a comin’

[HOWL display at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco]

I know we said we’d stop tooting our horn and posting reviews and response to the Howl movie, but here’s just a few more, not-just-any-reviews, ones that really nail something intelligent down.

First up, a thoughtful one from Peter Simek in Dallas’ D magazine. Richard Nilson’s review in The Arizona Republic points out “the hero of the film isn’t Ginsberg, it’s the poem”. Wallace Baine’s review in the Santa Cruz Sentinel re-iterates the idea that – and what a remarkable thing this is – “Howl is all about the poem not … Read More

Timothy Leary’s 90th Birthday

[Timothy Leary, Los Angeles March 1992. If you look closely you can see Allen in the mirror taking the photo. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

In celebration, here‘s some vintage Leary audio from 1967 recorded at Alan Watts’ Houseboat Summit, that includes Leary, Watts, Allen and Gary Snyder.

Keep a look-out for Peter Conners’ White Hand Society The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary & Allen Ginsberg due out any day now from City Lights. It includes the entire transcript for the above “Houseboat Summit” as it was printed in the San Francisco Oracle.

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Allen on Literary Censorship and Other Matters 1997 Canadian TV

Recently posted, this sweet video of AG, just a few months before he died,talking with Allan Gregg, Canadian tv interviewer (from TV Ontario). Always good to hear Allen’s always-timely and always-reasonable opinion on such issues and Gregg proves to be a sympathetic ear.

While we’re on the subject (we’ve been meaning to post this one for quite a while!), C-Span, in their video archive, have an extraordinary illuminating debate, “What’s Indecent? Who Decides?”, a recording of a meeting which took place before the Federal Communications Bar Association, on April 18 1990, in which Allen participated, and where … Read More

Kerouac 41 Years Later

It was 41 years ago today that Kerouac passed away at the age of 47 in St. Petersburg, Florida. As Jerry Cimino wrote in today’s Kerouac.com mailing “When he died he had $91 in the bank and his entire estate was worth less than $10,000. By the mid seventies just about all of his books (with the notable exception of On The Road) were out of print. Today, there are over thirty books in print, many published posthumously.”

[Jack Kerouac wandering along East 7th Street after visiting Burroughs at our pad, passing statue of Congressman Samuel “Sunset” Cox, “The Letter … Read More

Howl: A Graphic Novel Illustrated by Eric Drooker review in PopMatters

Fantastic review of Drooker’s HOWL: A Graphic Novel in today’s PopMatters

‘Howl: A Graphic Novel’ Wails Brilliantly Into the 21st Century

By Sarah Boslaugh 15 October 2010

Eric Drooker first met Allen Ginsberg in 1988 during the Tompkins Square Park Riots on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It was one of many skirmishes New York City would experience in the ‘80s, between the forces of gentrification and those who refused to give up territory they felt was rightfully theirs. The sympathies of both Drooker and Ginsberg were with the riffraff—the squatters, homeless, artists and other troublemakers whom the police were trying … Read More

Kindle Chaos!

Craig Morgan Teicher explains in Publisher’s Weekly just what went down in his story “This Is Not Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl.'” NPR also ran the story, and shortly after that Teicher did a followup in Publisher’s Weekly offering some solutions for the very tricky prospect of formatting poetry in the digital world. The story also caught the eye of the University of Texas’ Digital Curation blog (must be the dept of Digital Curation?) “Poetry Needs Curation Too.” ( We couldn’t agree more!)

In the long-ago days of the typewriter, the first thing we’d do was to send … Read More

Dope Fiend Blues

Such a great recording of Dope Fiend Blues! 

Allen writes: Read between the lines you get Orient non-attachment rather than Western addiction. Jon Sholle guitar thru pig-amp sets funky ’50’s style. (Steven) Taylor’s letter-perfect vocal harmony was practiced thru five years’ fun in Europe & America at poetry readings

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