Kathy Acker Interviews William Burroughs

[Kathy Acker – photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Two mod (post-mod) icons. Kathy Acker interviews William S Burroughs in London in 1988, on the occasion of the opening of his inaugeral show of his shotgun paintings, at the October Gallery. He discusses both his writing and his painting (the history and process) and corrects a couple of Kathy’s apocryphal stories. p… Read More

Allen Ginsberg Doesn’t Believe in Ghosts

[2014 update – the video that accompanied this post is now no longer available}

So this delightful snippet of Ginsberg footage recently re-surfaced – Allen among his file-cabinets on East 12th Street. The tape begins in media res (Allen rifling through his things)

AG: (There’s a) – photograph with (Bob) Dylan at (Jack) Kerouac’s grave, (I’ll) see if I can find it. Here’s some photographs of the Rolling Thunder tour..let’s see, yeah, [shows Ken Regan’s photo] – This has been in the newspapers and all. Actually, this is an interesting photo if you can zero in on it. … Read More

Trent Harris’ Allen Ginsberg Interview

So here’s a lost little You Tube gem (it’s been up since December of 2010 apparently!). The message here is, please, spell-Allen’s-name-right! – it’s Allen Ginsberg! (and Ginsberg not Ginsburg!) – That necessary kvetch out of the way, it has to be said, this is a curiously charming, and delightfully intimate, piece. Trent Harris manages to coax out of Allen an extraordinary honesty and candor (and the clips of him reading are pretty great too).
In 1979 Trent Harris, as he declares, “was lucky enough to spend three days my favorite free radical…We talked about beatniks, politics, and love.”
Here … Read More

Ah Roma! – Corso & Kuipers

Ah Roma! – Gregory Corso.Lyrics by Gregory Corso. Music by Francis Kuipers. Published by Red Records, Milan, Italy, 1988 (from the album, “Poesia e Musica – Gregory Corso and Francis Kuipers”))
From an interview with Michalis Limnios in Blues and Greece
(for the fascinating full interview see here)

ML: Tell me a few things about the story of “Poesia e Musica – Gregory Corso and Francis Kuipers”, how that came about?

FK: I discovered the poem ‘Oh Roma’, the first track on the LP, scrawled in chalk, in Gregory’s unmistakable and florid hand-writing, across … Read More

Why Jack Sent His Friends Away

One more gem from the Salem State 1973 Kerouac symposium. We’ve already featured it here and here – but – in answer to a panelist’s question – “Is it true (that) the last time you visited Jack that you were turned away?”
Allen tries to play it down, but Peter (on an anti-alcohol rant) is as vehement as ever – and Gregory emerges as a (happy?) fatalist. Here’s a transcription:
Steve Salvo (moderator): Is it true the last time you visited Jack that you were turned away?
AG: Yeah..his mother (had) had a stroke and..he called us..we spoke on the … Read More

Peter Orlovsky (1933-2010)

[Peter Orlovsky, San Francisco, 1955. Photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Thinking of Peter Orlovsky. It’s been two years to the day since he passed away. Vintage Peter.

Allen’s photo above catches the glee and mischievousness in him. Of the two videos that follow, the first, here is from his reading in January 1978 with Steven Hall for New York’s PAP (Public Access Poetry), a few months before the publication of his City Lights book, “Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs”. Following a few short poems from Steven, he begins (approximately two-and-a-half minutes in) with “Frist Poem” … Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 8 (Ginsberg & Williams)

[Empty Mirror: Early Poems by Allen Ginsberg]
 AG: I think I’d written my first Williams-esque poem around 1948. See, I have some here. I started imitating Williams around then… ’48, ’49, I was writing in two styles – I was writing in the style that I learned at Columbia College (which was imitations of (Sir Thomas) Wyatt, (Andrew) Marvell, James Shirley, (John) Donne..) and.. So these are “Stanzas Written at Night in Radio City”, probably begun in ’48 and finished in ’49. In ’48, I had a big vision and heard (William) Blake‘s voice … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Interviewed by Allan Gregg 1997 (ASV #28)

Allen Ginsberg, interviewed on Canadian television by another A.G., pundit Allan Gregg.

[2015 update – the video for this interview is no longer available, the audio, however, may be heard – here]

Allen Gregg: The Beat Generation of avant-garde writers and artists of the ’50’s and ’60’s are experiencing a huge resurgence, especially among the young people. As a guy who was there at its generation, who has sustained it all these years, what’s your reaction. Are you gratified by all of this? (are you) amused?
Allen Ginsberg: Well, actually, it’s been going on all along, with different … Read More

A Brief Visit to William Carlos Williams

[William  Carlos Williams 1883-1963]

AG: So what do you remember about our visit to (William Carlos) Williams?

Gregory Corso: I remember..
AG: You remember different things from me
GC: Well I remember you telling me about…
AG: Yeah, Gregory, myself, Peter Orlovsky and Jack Kerouac, all went to see Williams one afternoon. 1957
GC: ..about that.
AG: Yeah. Jack went into the kitchen with his wife, and his wife told him all about how she and Williams were young in Vienna when he was studying to be a medical student and they went to beer-gardens and there were … Read More

BBC Face To Face Interview, 1994 (ASV#21)

Face To Face was a legendary BBC television series in the early days of British television, a series of half-hour interviews conducted by the broadcaster John Freeman, which aired between 1959 and 1962. The template proved a hugely influential one. Freeman never appeared on camera throughout the shows, only his questions could be heard. His guests were filmed in tight close-ups under stark lighting conditions, as if under interrogation. The format was revived by Jeremy Isaacs in 1990 and ran again through to 1998. The interview with Allen (video below) took place in 1994 and was broadcast on the 9th … Read More