Walt Whitman’s Birthday

[Walt Whitman (1819-1892), April 15, 1887, New York City – Photograph by George C Cox – courtesy the Bayley Collection, Ohio Wesleyan University & The Walt Whitman Archive]

What thoughts I have of you tonight Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.          In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!          What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!—and you, Garcia Lorca, what … Read More

Peter Orlovsky Parinirvana



It’s Peter Orlovsky‘s parinirvana again. Remembering Allen’s life-time love, Peter. Check out these earlier postings on the Allen Ginsberg Project – here and here See also here and here   also, noticing his passing – here and (recommended) – Steve Silberman‘s touching 2010 elegy – here  and Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s memories –  here The New York Times & Washington Post obituaries & Tom Clark‘s memory-posting – here  Ann Charters in the English Bookshop in Stockholm in 2014 recalls, in some depth, her relationship with. and memories of, Peter, reading from Bill Morgan‘s book,… Read More

May 29 – Harry Smith’s Birthday

Harry Smith‘s birthday today.  Learn more about the unclassifiable maestro and treat yourself to a viewing of his remarkable Early Abstractions – here   (and/or Heaven and Earth Magic – here)

“You shouldn’t be looking at this as a continuity. Film frames are hieroglyphs, even when they look like actuality. You should think of the individual frame, always, as a glyph, and then you’ll understand what cinema’s about” 




An example of an early Harry Smith painting  (Algo Bueno,  c.1951)  

and two more recent paintings (Untitled, c.1977)

and  (Enochian Tablet, circa 1979)

and here is Untitled, from … Read More

David Amram – 1994 at Naropa

                                                                     [David Amram]

                                          [David Amram at Naropa, 1994 – Photo by Seth Brigham]

continues from yesterday (1994, Naropa, Allen Ginsberg celebration)
***[Audio  can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-two minutes in, and concluding through to the end of the tape]
DA: Not only … Read More

Gary Snyder – 1994 at Naropa

[A section from “Mountains and Rivers Without End” – Lu Yuan (China, Qing dynasty, late 17th Century – handscroll ink on paper – from the Freer/Sackler Smithsonian Museums of Asian Art, Washington DC] 

Gary Snyder in 1994, reading at Naropa  – We featured a few weeks back a reading by Allen and Miguel Algarin from 1994 celebrating (among other things) the dedication of the Allen Ginsberg Library and the twentieth anniversary at Naropa (“Beats and Rebel Angels”). We continue today, with the second half of that reading, featuring Gary Snyder (and – tomorrow – David Amram

Andrew Schelling: Welcome back. I’d … Read More

Friday’ s Weekly Round-Up – 270

        [                                                                                             Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Ken Sharp]

Ginsberg-week next week on the Ginsberg blog – celebrating his upcoming 90th birthday next Friday.Meantime, great response so far to the recently-released 3-cd set, The Last Word on First Blues 

Don’t miss Tom Semioli’s extensive piece in Huffington Post  – Pat Read More

Basic Poetics – Ballads – (Barbara Allen & The Baffled Knight)

Allen Ginsberg on Percy’s Reliques and the Child Ballads continuesAG: “Barbara Allen” is another classic, You’ve all heard of… how many have heard of “Barbara Allen”?.. let’s.. I can’t imagine anyone hasn’t heard of “Barbara Allen” – I think Joan Baez sings that? – Everybody sings that (or every girl that has a guitar – in 1940 every girl that had a guitar sang “Barbara Allen”. And the classic lines are at the very end –
 “O mother, mother, make my bed,/O make it saft and narrow:/My love has died for me today,/ I’ll die for him tomorrow.” – “O mother, … Read More

Percy’s Song

[Dr. Thomas Percy (1729-1811), Bishop of Dromore]

We’ve been examining the ballad tradition here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. Here’s Bob Dylan‘s “Percy’s Song“Percy’s SongBad news, Bad newsCome to me where I sleepTurn, turn, turn again‘Sayin; one of your friendsIs in trouble deepTurn, turn to the rainAnd the wind. Tell me the trouble

Tell once to my ear Turn, turn, turn again Joliet prison And ninety-nine years Turn, turn to the rain And the wind Oh what’s the charge Of how this came to be Turn, turn, turn again Manslaughter In the highest of degree Turn, turn … Read More

Bob Dylan’s Birthday – 3 (Stadium Poetry)


Alan Ziegler’s moving account of his visit with Allen and his father, published in The Village Voice in July of 1976, shortly before the latter’s death, is one of the most touching and heart-breaking of accounts. We strongly advise you to read it. 
Today, as part of our 75-year-birthday celebrations of Bob Dylan, we’re (re)publishing the “out-takes” (they first appeared in “Poets on Stage”, a special issue of Some magazine, edited by Ziegler, Harry Greenberg, and Larry Zirlin, and in “The Best American Poetry” blog in June of last year). 
Ziegler briefly explains – “During my … Read More

Bob Dylan’s Birthday – 2 (Michael McClure on Bob Dylan)


     [Bob Dylan in 2012, (aged 71), receiving from Baraka Obama the Presidential Medal of Freedom]


[Michael McClure, Bob Dylan, and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965 – Photograph by Larry Keenan]

For Bob Dylan’s 75th Birthday Celebration – looking back on an early issue of Rolling Stone, from March 14, 1974  –  Michael McClure on Bob Dylan Michael, in 2016, declares, (echoing what we all feel), “Dear Bob, 75th birthday greetings to the laureate of new soul”


Michael McClure: Memory is a beautiful thing – As I get older I learn to cherish it. It seems … Read More