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

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part one

[Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

We’ve already featured the classic 1959 Studs Terkel  WFMT radio interview with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso in seven sections – here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We also featured Allen and Philip Glass on Studs Terkel’s show in 1990 – here and here

We’ll be featuring, in the coming weeks, a third, a 1975 session with Allen and William Burroughs

but, first, this weekend, this, (courtesy George Drury and the remarkable trove which is the Studs Terkel Radio Archive) – Allen Ginsberg’s interview … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 311

[Hal Chase, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Morningside Heights, next to Columbia College, New York City, Winter 1944-45. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

The Best Minds of My Generation – A Literary History of the Beats – Bill Morgan’s masterly collection of Allen’s teaching wisdom   (from Naropa and Brooklyn College) appears today (official publication-day) from Grove Press (Grove Atlantic).

Here’s a few lines from Anne Waldman‘s lucid introduction:

“Allen Ginsberg devotedly, and with a loving perseverance, incubated these lectures on his primary literary Beat colleagues during his first teaching job at … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 307

[Am I Going Anywhere? – artwork, 1990, by Allen Ginsberg  (courtesy of Steve Silberman)]

Michael Schumacher‘s revelationary collection of fugitive pieces, First Thought, Conversations With Allen Ginsberg, out just this month is a must-read.  Here’s an excerpt (Allen on the necessities of drug legalization) – but there’s so much more.

[Allen Ginsberg Campaigning For Drug Reform, New York City, 1963 – Photograph by Benedict Fernandez]

Lawrence Ferlinghetti will celebrate his 98th birthday next week. Here he is interviewed by Penelope Bloom Aprile a student at San Francisco’s  Yick Wo Elementary School.

From the interview:

PBA: … Read More

Martin Torgoff’s Bop Apocalypse

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Bop Apocalypse – Jazz, Race, The Beats, & Drugs – putting the word out on Martin Torgoffs new book from Da Capo.

From the author’s web-site:  “Bop Apocalypse is largely the story of the evolution of jazz and its relationship to the Beats: the first time that drug use coalesced with music and literature, becoming a central element in the creation of an avant-garde American voice and underground cultural sensibility.”.

The book, (an  outgrowth of a chapter in an earlier book of Torgoff’s, and very much its compliment, Can’t Find My Way Home), “features vivid portraits of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979

allen_ginsberg_1979_-_cropped

[Allen Ginsberg at the Atheneum Bookshop, Amsterdam, November 1979. photo: Hans van Dijk / Dutch National Archives]

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979  (continuing from yesterday)

AG: I’ll begin since – oh we were discussing the subject . I’ll begin with a song dedicated to another fellow in prison, David Solomon who’s in Brighton…in Bristol jail, as he was sentenced to ten years as part of that big LSD conspiracy bust about a year or two ago – what was the name of that? Julie Operation Julie

[Allen sings a version of “Dope Fiend Blues”- “Dope Fiend Blues Shuffle”]… Read More

Ginsberg-Taylor-Orlovsky-Pickard 1979 Warwick continued

ginsberg-taylor

[Allen Ginsberg and Steven Taylor, 1979]

Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard reading at Warwick University, November,  1979  continues from here

AG: Steven Taylor, please favor us with a song (Steven Taylor being a poet as well as being a musician)

ST: I’m going to sing a song that I wrote after first reading the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, the Russian woman poet who was banned by (Joseph) Stalins government in 1929 and was not published after that time. She identified with the wife of Lot in the Bible, who was turned … 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

Terry Gross Interview, 1994

 

Terry Gross. 1987 in the studio on NPR’s “Fresh Air”

   

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn, looking for an angry fix”

TG: Allen Ginsberg, reading his now classic poem “Howl”. Ginsberg was a cultural hero to several generations. He was one of the leading Beat poets in the (19)50’s, in the (19)60’s he was an icon of the counterculture, through the (19)70’s and (19)80’s, he continued to write and to explore Eastern religions. By the (19)90’s, he was an inspiration to up-and-coming … Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 285

 

“Self-Portrait on my Seventieth birthday in Borsolino hat and black cashmere-silk scarf from Milan & Dublin Thornproof-tweed suit, Oleg Cassini tie from Goodwill, shirt same source, kitchen windwo mid-day, I stayed home & worked on Selected Poems 1947-95 proofs after returning from Walker Art Center reading – Beat exhibition weekend. Monday June 3, 1996, NY. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death – The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996), the show that originated in 2014 at the University of Toronto, (see here for more on their pre-eminent Ginsberg photo collection), opened … Read More