Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)

On July 19 1893 (July 7 on the Old Style Julian calendar) Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, the great Russian poet, was born. Here’s Mayakovsky reading An Extraordinary Adventure Which Happened To Me, Vladimir Mayakovsky, One Summer In The Country (the English translation, along with several other Mayakovsky translations, may be found here). And here’s a shorter piece (in English translation: And Could You?”). A recording of Mayakovsky’s great poem “At The Top of My Voice”, originally attributed to him, but now thought not to be him, is available here (Allen particularly admired this poem. As … Read More

Allen in Australia 1972 – Juene Pritchard Interview (ASV 12)

This little gem from Australian tv –
[2012 update, regrettably, this instructive little tv interview-clip has been pulled from You Tube, presumably for copyright reasons. We can only hope that ABC will see fit to re-instate it. In the meantime, at least we have the transcription]
Allen in Adelaide in 1972 for the Arts Festival, interviewed for ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Company) by an earnest and sympathetic Juene Pritchard. He speaks of Aboriginal tribal poetry, and of “the body of rhythms and chant patterns that are the foundations of his work”.
Here is the transcript:
JP: Allen, you were saying, … Read More

More Mantras (ASV 11)

Mantras, more mantras. We’d draw your attention to a previous weekend posting (not to mention, a deep “AH” mantra ). One of the treasures unearthed in the recent Yippie-FBI file-dump – sacred typed ephemera – was this: “Youth International Party ! ! ! !” (it reads), “presents Allen Ginsberg Mantra Singing, Prayer and Poetry”, “printed for Yippie! Festival by Lemar International Press, Chicago, 27 August,(19)68 (sic)”.

Chicago 1968, a very important time for chanting. Allen, leading a gathering on the shores of Lake Michigan has been documented for posterity here: and his response to the news-reporter’s question as to Allen’s … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 33

[Image of the kalachakra found here]
Today sees the last day of the Tibetan Buddhist Kalachakra Empowerment Ceremony, currently taking place (some would say, quite significantly, quite auspiciously) in Washington DC. Full details on Kalachakra for World Peace, 2011 can be found on the official web-site here. Tomorrow (Saturday) will feature Tenshug – a Long Life Empowerment Ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Presentation of a Special Award to Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (the chairman of Central Tibetan Administration) by the North America Tibetan Association. It will also feature the viewing (and subsequent dismantling) of … Read More

Johnny Depp & Allen

[Johnny Depp and Allen Ginsberg, Los Angeles, 1994. Press photo for The Source. Courtesy Caliope Films]

[Johnny Depp at Allen Ginsberg’s kitchen table, New York City, 1994. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Johnny Depp’s interview with Allen appeared first in June 1994’s Interview magazine. His 1999 essay, “Kerouac, Ginsberg, the Beats and Other Bastards Who Ruined My Life” first appeared in Rolling Stone, July 1999. His memories of Allen (part of the Jerry Aronson DVD set) are recorded here in Los Angeles in 2003 [2012 update – regrettably, this video is no longer available on You Tube. We have, however, … Read More

Iain Sinclair & Ah Sunflower Footage (ASV 10)

Allen speaking in this clip, from Iain Sinclair and Robert Klinkert’s “Ah Sunflower!” movie, is one of the great items on the web – on You Tube anyway – in that it speaks so specifically to the (visual seduction of the) medium – postmodern self-awareness, “so you don’t get deceived”.
so essential is it that its been memorized, but here is the original
– and with a transcript:

Allen: “If you will keep your mind on the image that is in front of you, which is my face in the camera or in your tv tube or screen (tv

Read More

Dialectics of Liberation 1967 (ASV 9)

More extraordinary footage. Allen at the Dialectics of Liberation Congress in London in 1967, a unique international symposium, gathered, “to demystify violence in all its forms”. Also included here, footage of Paul Goodman, Herbert Marcuse, and an incendiary Stokely Carmichael..
“Don’t escalate the hostility, don’t escalate the anger, control your mind, watch what you’re doing, be aware – totally”
“It isn’t love that’s being sought here. It’s not love that’s being offered. What’s being offered, in a sense – or proposed, I mean – is awareness, of what your own feelings are, and of the movement of … Read More

Human Be-In in San Francisco 1967 (ASV 8)

[Allen Ginsberg at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 1967. Photo: c. Lisa Law]
[Allen Ginsberg & Gary Snyder circumambulating Golden Gate Park at the Human Be-In, San Francisco 1967. Photo: c. Lisa Law]
Two of Lisa Law’s iconic ‘Sixties pictures grace The Allen Ginsberg Project today – Allen Ginsberg at the San Francisco “Human Be-In”, January 14, 1967, the famous “gathering of the tribes” – a key moment, in what later developed into the flowering of “the hippies”, the emergence of a “counter-culture” and the legendary “summer of love”.
Two figures to take note … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 32

The FBI files on the Yippies (released last week), poor xerox and continuing censorship notwithstanding, proved to be singularly under-whelming. That the FBI had Allen’s up-state Cherry Valley farm under surveillance, well, ok, we never knew that before, but it hardly comes as a surprise! – “Allen Ginsberg”, Albany reports (October 1968), “has lived (this) past year approximately five miles east of Cherry Valley, N.Y. on a property known as Old La Salle Academy. Hippie-type individuals (sic) have been observed (the) past year coming and going from Ginsberg property. Approximately four hippies, names unknown, presently live with Ginsberg”.
The anticipated, … Read More

Rosenthal, Katz, Brown on Allen

Among the mass of material that emerged around, and subsequent to, the 50th Anniversary of Howl, in 2006, was this – Radio Netherlands’ “An Angel Headed Hipster’s Howl”, a thirty-minute radio show (in English) featuring personal memories and lucid interpretation of Allen from Bob Rosenthal (we can’t wait for Bob’s upcoming biography), Eliot Katz (Eliot speaks at length and reads his poem/elegy to Allen) and Kurt Brown (poet, and professor at Sarah Lawrence College, providing a necessary academic perspective). The show, which first aired in May 2007, has been preserved as one of Radio Netherlands’ “classic docs” and may … Read More