Introduction: “Allen Ginsberg was once called “the Abominable Snowman of modern poetry” . The man who used this phrase was his publisher, a poet himself, a man of international fame and the owner of the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Like Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti is very much concerned with what is going on in the world today, the very opposite of the popular image of the poet as someone disengaged or, removed from reality.”
Just a reminder that it’s Kerouac celebrations in his home-town of Lowell this weekend. Festivities have already begun, but plenty’s still happening – you can see the full-schedule (all the events taking place over this weekend, and into next week) – here.
Today is an historic day. The 60th anniversary of the landmark Free Speech verdict. On this day in 1957, Judge Clayton Horn declared that “Howl” was not obscene.
As he announced:
“I do not believe that “Howl” is without redeeming social importance. The first part of “Howl” presents a picture of a nightmare world; the second part is an indictment of those elements in modern society destructive of the best qualities of human nature; such elements are predominantly identified as materialism, conformity, and mechanization leading toward war. The third part presents a picture of an individual who is … Read More
William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time, “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period” (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More
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