First Thought – Conversations With Allen Ginsberg

imageVery happy to announce a new Allen Ginsberg book, due out next month from the University of Minnesota Press, Michael Schumacher’s First Thought – Conversations With Allen Ginsberg, an inspiring collection of transcripts and rarely-seen interviews.

From the publisher’s web-site:  “Here, through previously-uncollected interviews, we encounter Allen Ginsberg elaborating on how speech, as much as writing and reading, and even poetry, is an act of art. Revealing, enlightening, and often just plain entertaining. Allen Ginsberg in conversation is the quintessential twentieth-century American poet as we have never before encountered him; fully present in pitch-perfect detail.”

“Testifying before a Senate … Read More

Gelek Rimpoche (1939-2017)

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[Gelek Rimpoche, New York City, February 1990. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg)]

It is with heavy heart and sadness that we announce the death today of Gelek Rinpoche, the great Tibetan lama and Allen’s spiritual teacher.

As announced on his Facebook page – “Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, our dear teacher and friend  passed away this morning at 6 AM. We will keep him in our thoughts today and every day. Information regarding arrangements will be posted on the Jewel Heart International Facebook Page as we receive it and we ask you to respect the privacy of his immediate family at this … Read More

A Post-Valentine Posting

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[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, San Francisco 1955]

Well, yesterday was Valentine’s Day, let’s make today Valentine’s Day too!.  Here’s a letter from Allen to Peter Orlovsky, dated Feb 15, 1958

Dear Peter: Got your letter yesterday, was so happy to receive it and your sweet sex talk. I had been running around with mad mean poets & world-eaters here & was longing for kind words from heaven which you wrote, came as fresh as a summer breeze & “when I think on thee dear friend / all losses are restored & sorrows end,” came over & over in … Read More

Valentine’s Day

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February 14th, it’s Valentine’s Day! – and here’s,  once again (how could we better it),  our annual Valentine Day’s posting

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The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human– looks out of the heart burning with purity– for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must … Read More

Robert Creeley’s “The Messengers” (for Allen)

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[Robert Creeley and Allen Ginsberg, ca 1965]

More Robert Creeley. Last week we featured his reading of his poem dedicated in memoriam to Allen, “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer..” – Here‘s another, earlier one, (the reading is from the legendary 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference).

 

THE MESSENGERS

The huge dog, Broderick, and

the smile of the quick eyes

of Allen light a kind world.

 

Their feelings under some distance

of remote  skin, must touch,

wondering at what impatience does

 

block them. So little love

to share among so many, so much

yellow-orange hair on the one,… Read More

William Burroughs Creative Reading (Conrad and Fitzgerald – 3 (Q & A)

[William S Burroughs at The Bunker, New York City, March 1985. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

William Burroughs on The Great Gatsby and Lord Jim continues from  here

William Burroughs – 3 – Q & A

WSB: How many of you were re-reading these two books (Lord Jim and The Great Gatsby)? Yes..How did you find that they re-read? well?

Student: I think you have to read books more than once.

WSB: You really do, you really do, yes..Well, were you.. did you..were you struck by the parallels and the similarities of the two books?

Student: (Both) the Romantic heroes?… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 302

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[Neal Cassady and Jack  Kerouac]

[Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac – The Joan Anderson Letter via Heritage Auctions]

The legendary Joan Anderson letter is back in the news again. “The seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Neal Cassady’s epic letter to Jack Kerouac, which, for almost sixty years, was thought missing and then was miraculously rediscovered and put up for auction (only to, surprisingly, fail to reach its asking price) is up for auction again.

The auction date is March 8. Bidding begins approximately February 17th (next week). Full details may be found at Heritage Read More

Tom Raworth (1938-2017)

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[Tom Raworth – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]

Sad news to announce, the passing of one the great voices of poetry, and one of our dearest friends, Tom Raworth died today, after a long and protracted illness, aged 78.

From the Poetry Foundation website – “Writer, artist, teacher, and publisher Tom Raworth was born in South London. He attended the University of Essex; in 1970, he earned an MA in the theory and practice of literary translation. As founder of Matrix Press and co-founder of Goliard Press, Raworth was instrumental in bringing an entire tradition of American poetry to English … Read More

Creeley on Ginsberg – (“When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer…”)

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[Robert Creeley (1926-2005)]

Following the couple of recent  posts on the great American poet, Robert Creeley – here and here here’s Creeley’s poem/elegy for Allen – “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer…” (from his 2003 volume, If I Were Writing This)

“WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER…”

A bitter twitter,

flitter,

of birds,

in evening’s

settling,

a reckoning,

beckoning

someone’s getting

some sad news,

the birds gone to nest,

to roost

in the darkness,

asking no improvident questions,

none singing,

no hark,

no lark,

nothing in the quiet dark.

 

Begun with like hypothesis,

arms, head, shoulders.

with … Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

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Neal Cassady‘s birthday today and that means the (8th) annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash, held at the Mercury Cafe (in the upstairs ballroom)  in Denver.

Performers and readers at the 2017 Bash will include Denver author of Chicano noir fiction, Manuel Ramos, poets Ed Ward and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, Zack Kopp (author of The Denver Beat Scene), and singer/songwriter Marty Jones,  and Neal’s son Robert Hyatt (who has just published his first book, Beat Bastard),  If you wanna know just how Hyatt discovered Neal was his father,  check out Gregory Daurer’s piece in this week’s … Read More