Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Remembering today one of the great Buddhist teachers, Suzuki Roshi,  Shunryu Suzuki, influential Soto Zen priest and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the first Soto Zen training monastery in the United States and one of the very first Buddhist training monasteries to be established outside of Asia)

Suzuki was also the author of the hugely popular Zen Mind, Beginners Mind  (1970). a key book from a key figure in the spreading in the West of the dharma.

Here’s Allen – from an interview, circa.1996, with David Chadwick: 

DC: Can you remember the … Read More

Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg November 1957

[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s  Jack Kerouac-Writer ]

Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris.  Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.

Dear Allen.  Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s]  “sweetly in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 328

[Allen Ginsberg among the boxes and archives at Stanford]

The treasure-trove that is the recently-digitalized Stanford archive is starting to unpack itself. Last week, Jay Barmann at the SFist, spotlighted a particularly choice gem (two gems, in fact) – Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, talking backstage, on December 11, 1965, in San Francisco, and then Dylan performing an entire concert with a band. “It comes”, he notes, “via Dylan fan and YouTuberist Keith Gubitz, who, simultaneously, has uploaded a second, similar recording, from December 12, 1965 in San Jose — the latter includes some chatter at the beginning between … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading at The Intersection, San Francisco, 1971

[Allen Ginsberg, 1971]

Another archived reading today (courtesy the irreplaceable PennSounds) – Allen Ginsberg reading at The Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco in 1971

AG: I’ll begin. Most of what I’ll read tonight is poetry from the last twelve months (sic), but I want to begin, prefatory, by a poem written in 1949, part of a book called Gates of Wrath, which will be published by Four Seasons Press, “Stanzas Written at Night in Radio City”      (“If money made the mind more sane…”…”Man runs after his own shadow”) – “Gary Snyder Reading Poesy Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – 2 – Trungpa Rinpoche)

Continuing from yesterday.

[Buddha doodle. Allen Ginsberg. April 5, 1991]

[Mantra: Benefit for Kama Dzong Meditation Center, May 6, 1972. Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO]

[Allen Ginsberg and Chögyam  Trungpa,  Rinpoche. Benefit for Kama Dzong Meditation Center, May 6, 1972. Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO. Photo:  Bob Morehouse]

AG : Then, 1972 Trungpa Rinpoche invited me to Boulder to give a poetry reading to raise money for Rocky Mountain Dharma Center along with Robert Bly and Gary Snyder. So I was really pleased to go out and see him in his home territory and went out there and he invited … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – I – Introduction)

A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)

AG: Well, good evening, Rinpoche [Lobsang Samten Rinpoche] and I met very recently at the house … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 323

“Driving The Beat Road” Jeff Weiss recent detailed (and profusely illustrated ) survey, in The Washington Post, “in search of surviving members of the Beat Generation“,  is another  (well, we keep using this term, but it’s true) – “must-read”.

Weiss recounts the circumstances and the details of his interviews (conducted earlier this year) with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, the novelist Herb Gold (“Gold would be the first to tell you that’s he’s not a Beat, but his legacy and historical context remain inextricable from his more well-branded peers”), and, in conclusion, … Read More

Saturday May 20 (Robert Creeley)

Robert Creeley would have been ninety-one tomorrow, May 21st (he died in 2005). In honor of the great man and his birthday, we present, this weekend, another transcription from the extraordinary Bay Area Writers series (from back in 1975-76) – (see also here and here) – Rudimentary recording equipment, so there are, understandably, a few technical problems (particularly at the beginning and the end of tape one (the main tape) but.. what a treasure! , what a remarkable record!

RC: I’m curious, like.. I gather some of you.. that this is a class for some of you and some … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 316

[Allen Ginsberg with Jon Sholle at the recording for Allen Ginsberg/William Blake – The Songs of Innocence and Experience]

Excited to have received early advance copies  of  Pat Thomas‘ remarkable follow-up to the The Last Word on First Blues  CD-set, (release-date isn’t until June 23) – the  two-CD re-packaging of the Blake songs – The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience.

For a previous announcement on that important and highly-anticipated project – see here

Did we mention, May 8th, Gary Snyder‘s recent 87th birthday – this?  (an extensive and illuminating interview in Lion’s Roar ) –  … Read More

Gary Snyder’s Birthday

Gary Snyder is eighty-seven years old today.  Happy Birthday Gary Snyder!

Here’s Gary, accompanied by The Parkington Sisters, at the Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey in 2014, performing “Prayer For The Great Family”

and here’s Gary’s reading at that same event:

One more recent Snyder reading, from the University of California, Berkeley, Holloway series, in 2016

Saluting one of America’s great national treasures!… Read More