And on this day in 1957…

United States Customs seized 520 copies of the second printing of Howl & Other Poems, declaring it to be obscene. “You wouldn’t want your children to come across it” San Francisco collector of customs, Chester MacPhee, was quoted as saying. However an additional 1000 copies slipped through undetected.… Read More

Happy Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti


[Lawrence Ferlinghetti in his office with pooch, Whitman photo, files, coat racks, book bags, posters, at City Lights up on balcony, B’way at Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, October 1984. Allen Ginsberg (c. Allen Ginsberg Estate)]

…and we just happened to be sifting through the Bureau of Public Secrets website’s enormous catalog, where they’ve posted Kenneth Rexroth’s complete columns from the San Francisco Examiner, and came across this timely tidbit. It’s from from exactly 50 years ago about Ferlinghetti, freshly returned from a trip to South America with Ginsberg . (It begins just below the Beckett and Ionesco paragraphs >>Read More

Peter Marti & Marc Olmsted Interviewed by Julie Adler

[Peter Marti & Marc Olmsted, San Francisco Main Library, January 2010. photo: Liz Rodriguez]

Allen’s Dharma pal poet friend Marc Olmsted sent us this 2008 interview with him and poet Peter Marti by producer/painter/performer Julie Adler & we can’t thank him enough. This one really gets inside Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche‘s influence on their poetry & lives as well as Allen’s and the early days of Naropa University.

It ends with a genius version of Allen doing his poem “Birdbrain” backed by Olmsted’s band, The Job. Recorded at On Broadway in North Beach, San Francisco, (directly above the legendary … Read More

Huncke the Juncke: Godfather to Naked Lunch

[Herbert Huncke in photobooth circa 1953. Allen Ginsberg Collection.]


[Herbert Huncke, East 7th Street, New York City May 1993. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Another great one from the Village Voice’s “Clip Job” series…

Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives. September 21, 1967, Vol. XII, No. 49

Huncke the Juncke: Godfather to Naked Lunch By Don McNeill

My phone rang on a hot morning in July a year ago and it as Allen Ginsberg.

“Do you know Herbert Huncke?” Ginsberg asked. “Have you ever met Huncke?” I said that I hadn’t.

“He’s the oldest living junkie in … Read More

Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac

Born in 1922, this would be his 88th birthday. In celebration, we wanted to point out a little known side of the poet-novelist: the imaginary sports writer. At the New York Public Library’s Kerouac exhibition in 2007, Jack’s mapping of imaginary Baseball Leagues complete with statistics, announcements and reports, were some of the more curious and fun items on display. The Berg Collections’ curator, Isaac Gewirtz, compiled a 75 page book on the subject published by and available through the New York Public Library.

“Long before he wrote On the Road or Visions of Cody, the Beat novelist and … Read More

Gary Snyder & Robert Creeley Foundation Award

[Gary Snyder, Kyoto, Japan, June 1963. Photo: Allen Ginsberg c. Allen Ginsberg LLC]

An article with interview snippets in the Milford Daily News in advance of Snyder receiving the 10th annual Robert Creeley Award in Acton Mass. next week. Our colleague Matt Theado at the Beat Studies Association heard from Chris Bergeron after his interview with Snyder saying “I interviewed him for about 40 minutes by phone & felt I’d never spoken with a 79-year-old man whose mind was as sharp as someone in their 30s. He was very sharp, personable, totally free of BS. What felt curious to me … Read More

Hal Willner interviews Allen Ginsberg on Harry Smith

[Hal Willner and Harry Smith at Naropa Institute, Boulder Colorado, July 1989. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Marianne Faithful, Hal Willner and Harry Smith at Naropa Institute, Boulder Colorado, July 1989. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Yesterday’s post on Harry got us thinking about this one of Hal interviewing Allen. This text is excerpted from a much larger interview based around Allen’s recording history, done June 29, 1993, that Willner conducted for the Holy Soul Jelly Roll liner-notes released in 1994. An edited-down version of this was published in Think of the Self Speaking: Harry Smith – Selected Interviews by … Read More