Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 359

[Carl Solomon at home in the Bronx, 1991 – Photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries]

Today, Friday March 30th. is Howl dedicatee, Carl Solomon‘s birthday. For last year’s Carl Solomon posting (“Remembering Carl Solomon”) – see here)

It’s also the anniversary of Rimbaud‘s lover, the poet, Paul Verlaine‘s birthday.  (For a posting on Verlaine’s “Chanson d’Automne” – see here)

And, while we’re on the subject of anniversaries – Our dear friend Bob Creeley died on this date thirteen years ago. Much missed, thinking of you, Bob.

David S Will’s Beatdom continues to deliver challenging A.G. … Read More

WNET (Koch & Ashbery) – John Ashbery

[WNET film transcription – continuing from yesterday – Following Kenneth Koch, at approximately sixteen-and-a-quarter minutes in, a young John Ashbery is seen ]

JA: I met Kenneth (Koch) when I was first a student in Harvard in 1947 and I met Frank (O’Hara) a couple of years later. We all wound up in New York more or less by accident , and got to know other poets here like Barbara Guest, James Schuyler.. But I think our poetry is pretty independent of each other.

One critic has described John Ashbery as today’s (1966) most radically original American … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 348

Reposting and restating last week’s big news – “Howl’,  a newly-assembled red vinyl  box-set will be available soon – next month – from Craft Recordings.  February 23 is slated as the release-date. Hold your breath!

A couple of weeks back,  Chris Agg uploaded a scattering of short Beat-related video-clips onto You Tube. See here (a few selected examples). We start off with Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading his prose-poem “Look Homeward, Jack – Two Correspondences”  from the book Wild Dreams of A New Beginning. (Ferlinghetti can also be seen here, reading “Constantly Rising Absurdity”, from A Coney Island of the Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 332

[Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, and John Ashbery – (Photographer Unknown)]

“….exquisite mind cartoons that could be heard with eyes closed, the voice perfectly ordinary with the slight edge of extravagant conversational camp, a mind artifice not unnatural to hypnagogic revery, deceptive, till you hear the chasm landscapes and awkward universes created and contradicted in vast gas-deposit shocking trivial universal mind.”

Allen Ginsberg – from an introduction to a reading by John Ashbery, at Naropa Institute, 1975.

Hear Ashbery’s reading (along with W.S.Merwin) on that occasion here

John Ashbery’s passing last weekend continues to send shockwaves.

A selection of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 326

John Ashbery

Today’s a grand day for American poetry, John Ashbery‘s 90th birthday! – Happy Birthday, John!

There’s a new biography (the first, actually) just out from FSG on John’s early life – The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life, by Karin Roffman (taking it up to his departure for France in the mid ‘Fifties and the publication of his first major book, Some Trees),  (she’s currently at work on a full biography)

Mark Ford’s review in The Guardian may be read hereEvan Kindley’s review in The New Republic may be read hereRead More

Sunday May 21 (Robert Creeley)

[Robert Creeley (1926-2005)]

Robert Creeley continued (from yesterday)

Sunday May 21 – Robert Creeley’s birthday today.

We continue with our transcript of his 1976 Bay Area Writers reading

RC  I thought possibly to read a few of the poems that would’ve come from that time of ..of being in the city…just seeing their titles and…let’s see…”The Bed”  [continues searching] – oh well.. this may get so awkward I won’t bother to ….

Jack’s Blues was sort of written with Jack (Kerouac)  in mind (“I’m going to roll a monkey and smoke it…’…’gone like a sad old candle”) … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 34 (Reading List 5) (Vachel Lindsay, John Ashbery, Guillaume Apollinaire)

Vachel Lindsay, only nineteen people (in this class) have read. He wrote a poem called “The Congo”. How many here know “The Congo”? How many don’t know of “The Congo”, have never heard of “The Congo”? We don’t have it here, but, basically, it’s a powerful rhythmic thing that everybody would enjoy. They used to teach it in grammar school, but… [Allen quotes from the poem to show why, unsurprisingly, it’s fallen out of fashion] – “Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room/Barrel-house kinds, with feet unstable..” (continues down to) “Listen to the yell of Leopold’s ghost burning … Read More