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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 299

The Best Minds of My Generation – Very pleased to announce a new Allen Ginsberg publication (due out in April)  from Grove Press – “A Literary History of the Beats” –  (“A unique and compelling history of the Beats, in the words of the movements most central member, Allen Ginsberg, based on a seminal series of his lectures”), edited, (as judiciously and informatively as ever), by Beat scholar, and our good friend, Bill Morgan

From the Grove Press web-site:

“In 1977, twenty years after the publication of his landmark poem “Howl” and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Allen Ginsberg … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 295

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[Two early French editions from 10/18, Editions Christian Bourgois]

 

The European Beat Studies Network’s 2017 Annual Conference, the sixth, (this past year (2016), it was held in Manchester, England), will have a decidedly Francophile bent this coming year – “Paris Interzone – The Transcultural Beat Generation (Collaboration, Edition, Translation)”.

From the announcement by the conference organizers:

“This year’s conference will honor and address the key role that the French capital and Francophone cultures have played in the transculturalism of the Beats, by welcoming submissions in both French and English and holding a plenary session on language barriers and … Read More

Michael McClure’s Mephistos

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[Michael McClure, Mephistos & Other Poems, City Lights Books, November 2016]

Michael McClure‘s new book of poems has just been released by City Lights:    “A landmark work of bio-romanticism, Mephistos and Other Poems is (McClure’s) first completely new collection in five years…. The title sequence, “Mephistos” stems from (his) ongoing “grafting” experiment, growing new poems from fragments of his older works. “Some Fringes: is a series of haiku-like nature poems, while the seventeen-part “Rose Breaths” derives from the poet’s practice of meditation. The freestanding poems grouped under the title “Being:” pay homage to many of McClure’s collaborators and fellow … Read More