Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 309

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition.  Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book.   Reviews are already highly positive:

Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More

Friday December 30 – Patti Smith’s 70th birthday

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Patti Smith turns 70 today. She’ll be performing tonight, in Chicago, at the Riviera Theatre, with her band, part of an on-going tour celebrating the release of her groundbreaking 1975 debut album, Horses

What a year it’s been for Patti! (always quite a year for Patti! – poet as rock-star, poet as performer, poet as activist)

Poet as upholder of lineage and tradition – So, most recently, the extraordnary rendition of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the Nobel Prize ceremonies, honoring Nobel laureate, Bob Dylan

She … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 296

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[“No One is Illegal” – Ai Weiwei – Photo: Rohit Chawla]

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[“Laundromat” – Ai Weiwei installation, currently on show at Jeffrey Deitch Projects, New York, through to December 23, 2016. Photo: Bobby Doherty]

Ai Weiwei – His current exhibition at New York’s Jeffrey Deitch Projects  – “Laundromat” – One of the aspects, included in the exhibition, one of its inspirations, in fact, is the Allen Ginsberg poem, “September on Jessore Road”.  Weiwei explains:

“Allen is an old friend of mine. He has always had a strong compassion for those in need of help. With the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 293

Bob Dylan, The Mann Center, Philadelphia, July 13, 2016. via Bill’s Music Blog

So Bob Dylan won’t be heading over to Sweden to pick up his Nobel Prize for Literature on December the 10th. The Swedish Academy said Wednesday that Dylan told them he “wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments made it unfortunately impossible”. He is still, however, required to give a Nobel lecture some time between now and next June.

Rolling Stone announces it here, The Guardian here, here in the New York Times.

More Dylan news – and a must-read – (in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 290

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today – from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography: ” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.

And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 289

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Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Larry Keenan

Yesterday’s announcement of Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize still has us reeling. Better late than never,  Allen’s letter to the Nobel Committee, from November 20, 1996 (sic):

“Dear Members of the Swedish Academy,  For the Nobel Prize in Literature I propose Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is a American Bard & minstrel of XX Century, whose words have influenced many generations throughout the world. He deserves a Nobel Prize in recognition of his mighty & universal poetic powers”

Sincerely, Allen Ginsberg, Poet, Member of American Academy of Arts … Read More

Bob Dylan Wins The Nobel Prize in Literature

Bob Dylan & Allen Ginsberg – “The Music Lesson” – Photograph by Elsa Dorfman – © Elsa Dorfman

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 was awarded today to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. We’re stunned and delighted and thrilled.

Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy – “He (Dylan’s) ‘s a great poet in the English-speaking tradition and he’s a wonderful sampler. A very original sampler. He embodies the tradition and for 54 years now he’s been at it, reinventing himself constantly, creating a new identity”

“..if you look … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 288

 

October 7, 1849 –  the death of Edgar Allan Poe. More Allen-Ginsberg-on-Poe postings here, here and here

October 2017 marks the Centennial of the English poet David Gascoyne. Enitharmon, his English publisher, have taken the occasion to reprint a 1986 letter/memoir/note he wrote to Allen – See here

October in the Railroad Earth – October is Kerouac month… (every month is Kerouac month! – but this month (this weekend) in Lowell, Massachusetts, it’s the annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac). Full details about the weekend’s activities – hereRead More

Basil Bunting Reads Campion – 2

Basil Bunting can be heard again on tape, reading from Campion.

WHEN thou must home to shades of underground, And there arrived, a new admirèd guest, The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round, White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest, To hear the stories of thy finish’d love          From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move; Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights, Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make, Of tourneys and great challenges of knights, And all these triumphs for thy beauty’s sake:          When thou hast told these… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 283

 

Edson cemetry, Lowell, Mass. The exact location. Bob Dylan and Allen visiting Jack Kerouac’s grave. We’ve featured Bob Egan‘s conceptual recreations – Popspots – before –  here.  Here’s his re-staging of two of Ken Regan’s iconic photos.

Here’s another of his Popspots ( “Pot Is A Reality Kick” – Benedict J Fernandez‘s much-circulated image of Allen at the LEMAR (Committee To Legalize Marijuana) protest, Christopher Street at 6th Avenue, New York City, January, 1965

 

Oscar Wilde !854-1900

Patti Smith reading Oscar Wilde in Reading Gaol ? Reading Gaol (HM Prison, Reading) … Read More