Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 334

[Patti Smith and Allen Ginsberg, c. 1977]

Patti Smith‘s new book Devotion has just come out (from Yale University Press) to mixed reviewsHere‘s Michael Lindgren’s review in The Washington Post .Here‘s Megan Volpert at Pop Matters. The book is an expanded version (though not so expanded) of her 2016 Winham-Campbell Lecture at Yale (for a section of that lecture – see here)

Grant Hart, drummer, vocalist and songwriter, who died a little over a week ago, on William Burroughs from an interview from back in 2000 for The Onion AV Club:

Interviewer:   How well did you know William S. Burroughs?

Hart:   Oh, I’d probably met with him ten or so times. I’d like to think, and I know, that I contributed to some happy moments in his life. He had made a comment to me during the third-to-last time we spent together. He said, “Why do you tell me jokes? You’re the only person who ever comes around here with a joke.” And I told him, “Well, I hear a good joke and I tell it.” But people thought they had to have a thick skin when they came to visit William, or put their best foot forward, trying to be something that they might very well be, but not all the time, you know? I think a lot of people put on a show for William when they were in contact with him, and eventually he was deprived of that much humanity. I think he got a lot of it living in Lawrence {Kansas}, doing a lot of his own shopping, that sort of thing. Here’s a man, a French legionnaire, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and nobody’s telling him jokes! That’s pretty sad. So, from that point on, whenever we’d talk, I’d keep my ears out for one that William would like…

Simone Lazzari Ellis – another Burroughs cheer-er up-er, likewise passed away this summer. We remember her here on the Allen Ginsberg Project – see her 1990 interview with William (with additional introductory notes by her) on the Burroughs site Reality Studio

Tomorrow in St Louis (his birthplace) Burroughs gets a sculpture (the bust is by local artist Vlad Zhitomirsky).  The unveiling takes place at 6 p.m. outside Left Bank Books, on North Euclid Avenue. The ceremony will feature Carol Shepley  (who will discuss Burroughs’ connection to the neighborhood), Brett Underwood, (who will read from Burroughs’ work),  and music from the Chano Cruz Duo. James Grauerholtz, bibliographer and literary executor of Burroughs’ estate, will be present.

Tomorrow night Emmanuel Music in Boston present an Allen Ginsberg program Lee Hyla’s setting of “Howl” (the second and third parts) for reader and string quartet – Lloyd Schwartz is the reader)  and two settings of his poem “A Supermarket in California”,  by Andy Vores and Elena Ruehr (both written for David Kravitz and the Arneis Quartet – the two composers each taking dramatically different approaches to setting Ginsberg’s lyric)

& Hydrogen Jukebox (the Allen Ginsberg-Philip Glass opera) is given several performances this weekend by the Utopia Opera company in New York. Stage director is Gary Slavin, music director, William Remmers. Performances take place at Hunter College in the Lang Recital Hall.

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