Allen Ginsberg, Salman Rushdie, & Meditation

Salman Rushdie, describing a moment, in 1989 in New York, in protective custody, following the issuing of the notorious fatwa  that followed on the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses

“I spent that day in a fourteenth-floor suite with at least twenty armed men. The windows were blocked by bullet-proof mattresses. Outside the door were more armed men with Schwarzenegger-sized muscles and weaponry. In this suite I had a series of meetings which must remain secret, except perhaps for one. I was able to meet with the poet Allen Ginsberg for twenty minutes.The moment he arrived, he pulled cushions … Read More

The 1973 Glasgow Review Interview

 [Allen Ginsberg at his 1973 Glasgow Press Conference]

We featured here last week, Allen’s interview in 1973 in Scottish International. Featured today is a companion piece from The Glasgow Review  (drawing from the same press conference).  The piece was initially titled “Of Burns and Watergate” (referring to the two main topics).

Interviewer; What do you think of the present state of the Watergate affair?

AG: Well what the underground both in America and England have been saying for a long time now has become accepted currency in the minds of the above-ground, middle-class media. The specific conceptions that are … Read More

1974 – Scottish International Interview

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph(s) by Ian Dryden]

We’ve previously featured here footage from Allen’s 1973 visit to Scotland     ( a reading for the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow). We also featured some grainy footage (and some transcription from his press conference). Here (with some duplication) is the interview that appeared in Scottish International, September 1973. Allen, as a note in the magazine reveals, had been visiting with Chogyam Trungpa (in exile then in Scotland)  and the Buddhist community at Samye Ling monastery at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries, as well as giving readings and traveling around.  He had also taken time … Read More

1967- Ginsberg-Corso-Berryman at Spoleto

The recordings of Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso (and of an unlikely third-party, John Berryman, at the 1967 Festival of Two Worlds (“Festival dei Due Mondi”) at Spoleto in Italy, organized by Gian Carlo Menotti is the focus of this weekend’s post

[Allen Ginsberg, Spoleto, 1967]

Allen’s reading (which was also subsequently featured in the recording Ginsberg’s Thing (1969)), was the subject at the time of some controversy.   As his biographer Bill Morgan explains:

“The police in Spoleto seemed to be waiting for him and they picked up copies of the Italian translation of his poem “Who Be Kind Read More

Instigating the Howl Trial – March 25, 1957

Sixty years ago today, the US Customs, in the person of Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated five-hundred-and-twenty copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”  – a pivotal moment  

From Bill Morgan‘s  Howl on Trial – The Battle for Free Expression:

“The Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated 520 copies [of Howl ] because, as he said, “The words and the sense of the writing is obscene…you wouldn’t want your children to come across it.”   U.S. Customs Law required a Federal Judge, upon application of the U.S. Attorney,  to grant permission to destroy the books. But, as [City Lights publisher, … Read More

1990 – Matters of General Importance

 

Edvard Munch – The Scream  (1893)- National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

Allen and Philip Glass‘s 1990 interview with Studs Terkel (see here and here) concludes with Terkel offering Allen an open platform to “go off” on “anything of his choice”. Allen takes full advantage, listing the dangerous turn to censorship and repression in contemporary America circa 1990 (his “cautionary footnote”, as Terkel describes it, is a snapshot of a moment, but still reads chillingly, and regrettably, continuingly, pertinent in the light of present times.)   

ST: Al, I thought we’d go off open-endedly, as they used to say in the … 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