Revisiting Jack Kerouac’s Poems – 1

AG: We don’t have that (Jack) Kerouac poem, let’s see -Kerouac’s serious death shot (you know, mortality) was a poem that ends “Poor!  I wish I were…”  [“Poor! I wish I was..”] – Yeah, I got it, okay… number 211 (in Mexico City Blues)  – (the) 211th Chorus, in Kerouac.. Just to bring this up to “Like To The Falling of A Star” or the little (George) Herbert poem that we had wherein all died – “Virtue”? – “The root is ever in its grave/ And thou must die”, “My music shows ye have your closes,/ And … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Rhyming Assignment

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa class transcript continues

Student; Did you ever do.. have a go [at Echo Poems]?

AG: No, never did one myself but it’d be interesting to do. Should I assign it to class?

Student: You could..

AG: You’re the T.A. (teaching assistant). The assignments.. the class assignments, we have, by the way, I said I’d get to.. was.. are,/ so far,/ .not very profuse, or exact, or neat/, or complete/. You haven’t hammered your stammer/ to make it exact or compact. So, what I would suggest/ would be you be the guest/ of the muse/ and … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s (91st) Birthday

The dogwood, the dogwood!  – the flowering kousa dogwood, in the churchyard at St Marks in New York, planted especially for Allen (and flowering on the occasion of his birthday) has become something of an obsession for us here at The Allen Ginsberg Project. So here it is again – 2017’s version.

Happy (91st) birthday, Allen!

Previous years dogwood postings can be found herehere, and here

thinking of him and missing him.… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 318

Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s birth tomorrow. Anne Waldman and guests will be celebrating it at the Fox Theatre in Boulder

Meanwhile in NYC (from 3-9) at the Howl Happening Gallery (also celebrating the upcoming re-release of the Ginsberg-Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience on CD)  – Ed Sanders, Steven Taylor, Ernie Brooks & Bear 54 and readings by Bob Rosenthal, Bob Holman, Hettie Jones, David Henderson, Basil King, & other surprise guests.

Speaking of Anne Waldman, how about this? – the Anne Waldman comic! – “the story of Anne Waldman in her … Read More

More Whitman

continuing to celebrate Walt Whitman –  (and Whitman’s prescience)

from Allen’s 1980 essay, “On Walt Whitman, Composed on the Tongue, or, Taking A Walk Through Leaves of Grass” (originally published in Walt Whitman – The Measure of His Song (1981) and included in the essay-collection, Deliberate Prose (2000))

“There was a man, Walt Whitman, who lived in the nineteenth century in America, who began to define his own person, who began to tell his own secrets, who outlined his own body, and made an outline of his own mind, so other people could see it. He was the sort of … Read More

Walt Whitman’s Birth-day

Walt Whitman was born on this day, May 31st, 1819, at West Hills, Huntington, Long Island.

[Walt Whitman’s birthplace – Photograph courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C]

Later on in his life:

“After more than forty years’ absence, the author of Leaves of Grass, and founder of this paper [sic] has been visiting our town the past week in company with Dr. R. M. Bucke, of London, Canada, who is engaged in writing a life of “the good gray Poet.” They put up at the Huntington House, and spent several days in calls … Read More

Peter Orlovsky Parinirvana

Peter Orlovsky’s Parinirvana.  Allen Ginsberg’s long-time companion, died, seven years ago, on this day.  Those who knew him will certainly never forget Peter. His remarkable and inspired book of poems, Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs, idiosyncratic spellings and all, is quite like any other book of poems. His papers (now residing at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin) yielded the posthumous companion-piece Peter Orlovsky – A Life In Words.  There is also the sadly-out-of-print 1980 volume, Straight Hearts’ Delight. We’ve quoted from it before. Here’s another letter from Peter … Read More

Memorial Day – Harry Smith’s Birthday

Harry Smith‘s birthday today, born in Portland, Oregon, May 29, 1923.

Allen certainly admired, and took a great many pictures of Harry (more indeed than almost any other subject).  Here is just a sampling of a few of them, various locations, but mostly in Allen’s kitchen, East 12th Street NYC, 1984-1989.

See also other Harry Smith Birthday postings on the Allen Ginsberg Project –  here, here, here, and here. Also, for example, here and here. 

 … Read More

Larry Fagin (1937-2017)

Larry Fagin, poet, editor, teacher, long-time leading member of the so-called “New York School” of poetry, died yesterday. He was 79 years old. An important co-worker with Allen at Naropa (and, coincidentally, upstairs neighbour in his 12th Street tenement in Manhattan), he was, (though not himself a Buddhist), alongside fellow St Marks poet, Anne Waldman, one of the key figures in the initial years of that on-going experiment. Allen himself was quite unequivocal – “I don’t know of a better editor and teacher of poetry and prose than Fagin”, he once declared. Larry’s early teaching there can … Read More

Allen Ginsberg at Cheltenham 1993

Allen Ginsberg, in 1993, reading at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in England. The feature today on The Allen Ginsberg Project. Allen reads a selection of poems, (mostly from White Shroud and the, subsequently-published Cosmpolitan Greetings

Introduction: Good evening everybody and some of you I’m sure came to the event where Allen Ginsberg was being interviewed by John Calder here today and will have suffered as Mr Ginsberg did the problems of the weather and British Rail. Years ago Allen Ginsberg wrote of Jack Kerouac that he was the sole full-moving thing, earlier today I’m afraid Allen Ginsberg was the sole … Read More