Friday Weekly Round-Up – 125

[Allen Ginsberg and Naomi Ginsberg, both at the age of 30 – drawings by R.B.Kitaj, included in Kaddish, White Shroud, and Black Shroud by Allen Ginsberg, with an Introduction by Helen Vendler, and lithograph portraits of the poet and his mother by R.B.Kitaj, Arion Press, San Francisco, 1992]

All the attention on Beat Memories (Allen’s photo-show, concluding recently in New York City but about to open, May 23, in San Francisco) but, as Susan Anderson of the Special Collections at UCLA library has observed, there’s a “third, lesser-known hub” of Beat culture” – Los Angeles (two … Read More

Taylor Mead (1924 – 2013)


Thank you Taylor,  for making our world a brighter place while you were here. Sebastian Piras’ footage of Allen and Taylor together (in 1997, visiting Allen’s new loft) is available here Brief notices from The Gothamist and from the New York Times blog (focusing on his recent (last month’s) exodus from his ramshackle Lower East Side apartment (he’d been living there, down on Ludlow Street, since 1979, the past 34 years!) can be read here and here      

Bowery Boogie presents “5 Unique Views of Taylor Mead” here More to follow

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Spontaneous Poetics – 72 (continuing)

[Allen Ginsberg and Andrei Voznesensky in June 1985 in Allen’s New York City East 12th Street apartment – photograph by Hank O’Neal] 

Student: I’d like to get back to the echoes..the thoughts echoing densities of speech, or something like that. The thought that comes out has a certain density of substance.
AG: Okay, when you said that, what came into my mind was, “What does he mean, asking a question like that?”. And I heard it almost like a little silver flash – “What does he mean, asking a question like that?”  – “What does he mean, asking a question like that?” … Read More

Gary Snyder’s Birthday

[“On Prose vs Poetry, Work Poems” – Gary Snyder – speaking and reading at the 10th Annual Robert Creeley Awards, Acton, Massachusetts, 2010]

It’s Gary Snyder‘s birthday today. He’s 83 years old.  We draw your attention first to our two earlier Gary Snyder Birthday posts on the Allen Ginsberg Project – here and here. The local, has, of course, always been a (the) crucial context, so here’s Gary on local (NCTV-11) Nevada tv, in May of last year, being, casually but respectfully, interviewed by Lew Sitzer (the interview begins approximately one-and-three-quarter minutes in, and lasts approximately 60 minutes – … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 71

File:Alluvial fans (PSF).png

But our main theme at the moment is, what form does thought arrive in the brain? and, to what extent does that determine your method of transcription? To what extent does that mean you have to be a painter or a poet, or to use the typewriter, or a notebook carried around all the time, or, can you sit down at the typewriter between 6 and 9 in the morning?, or what? How do you write? It all depends on how your brain works, how your physiology is.  These are considerations in my own verse, which I’ve noticed in other peoples’. In … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 70 (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
Allen Ginsberg’s June 30 1976 Spontaneous Poetics class continues
Student: Allen..
AG: Yes?
Student: Would you say (something about) … more older forms.. ?
[the tape breaks off here, but resumes, shortly thereafter, with Allen in mid-sentence]
AG   …with measure to the normal spoken speech of Shakespearean England. I haven’t had that speech in my ear, actually, for real. I just heard it in the artifact of poetry. I assume it must have arisen originally out of some native tongue, but I don’t know (because they were messing around a lot with trying to adapt classical … Read More

More Vintage Audio – Summer 1976 – Naropa Benefit Reading

naropa institute

Another Summer 1976 Naropa poetry reading (following on from here and here). This one took place at the very end of Summer (September 13, to be precise) and was a benefit for the then still-to-be-fully-established Institute – “A reading and musical performance by Allen Ginsberg, Peter Rowan, Michael Brownstein, Philip Whalen, Peter Orlovsky and Anne Waldman“The tape begins, approximately six seconds in, with mantric chanting (Allen’s harmonium, and flute and mandolin evident in the background) for the first five minutes, setting the stage – AG: “Jeremy here? Jeremy? Is there anything that should be said as we begin? … Read More

Friday Weekly Round Up – 124

[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky – “A.G & P.O. 5 Turner Terrace, Potrero Hill Housing Project, Peter’s kitchen, hot summer day 1956.” (Allen Ginsberg Caption) – Photograph c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]Well, it’s a whole seven days later, but we couldn’t resist alerting you to the Doug Ireland skewered review of Steve Finbow’s bio (mostly for the clear, where-to-begin, response by Our Allen‘s Steve Silberman – thanks Steve, for setting the record straight! – or, rather, keeping the record queer!) – see also comments by Jim Cohn and others in the (in this case, essential) “Comments” section following Ireland’s, regrettably, … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 69 (Burroughs, Voznesensky & Kaddish)

Student: Does the thought come to the mind scored?  AG: Pardon me? Student: Does the thought come to the mind [as per late Williams] broken (say) into three lines..? AG: Hmm – okay, let’s take that up in a minute. That’s an interesting question.

Onto (first, though), the next consideration – which would be distinct from units of vocal phrasing, mouth phrasing – units of mind-thought (which is another element that comes in, when you write – because your notation of what you’re saying is a notation of what you speak, but it’s also, really, if you’re writing silently … Read More

May Day

[May Day – street poster design by Eric Drooker] May Day. May Day Greetings from The Allen Ginsberg Project! With Allen this day (today) is always a special day. Remembering his pivotal (all-too-brief) tenure (in Prague, in 1965, the “Prague Spring“) as “King of May” (Kral Majales) – and also his old IWW, “Wobbly”, roots – “America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies/ America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I’m not sorry” – we always take great pleasure in spotlighting this (from Cosmopolitan Greetings – a … Read More