“America, I am the Scottsboro Boys“, Allen famously declared in one of the many memorable lines in his classic 1956 poem, America. This past November 21 (last Thursday) the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles granted (some eighty years later!) posthumous pardons clearing the last of the group of nine black youths wrongly scapegoated and imprisoned for allegedly raping two white women. The case, one of the key cases in American jurisprudence, had immense consequences (it was fought all the way up to the Supreme Court) and was a crucial and important milestone in the development of the modern Civil Rights movement.
Belatedly noting the passing (this time last week) of the incandescent “force of nature”, truth-teller, Wanda Coleman, the “unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles”. She was 67.
Here is a recent interview with her by Mariano Zaro
Here (courtesy of our good friend Michael Lally) is some vintage Wanda (from the 1983 LA spoken word compilation “English as a Second Language“
Something On Paper, the first issue of the Naropa Jack Kerouac School‘s new on-line poetics journal is now up, and features Lynn Hejinian, the inaugural “Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow” (her lecture “Wild Captioning”), Alice Notley (interviewed by Michelle Naka Pierce), and much else besides – see here
Here’s a rare treat – Peter Orlovsky (we’ll be featuring him here again soon) – reading “Write It Down, Allen Said” (“1961 bus ride from Damascus to East Jerusalem..”) – recently surfaced on You Tube
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