Robert Creeley – 2

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[Robert Creeley – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © Estate of Allen Ginsberg  – caption: “Robert Creeley, one-eyed poet at Naropa Institute poetics commune house, summer session, July 1984, he sat patient with me across supper table before his lecture, old friend”]

AG: Where were we? Oh Creeley? So Creeley.  (Robert) Creeley. Each syllable is a thought. That’s a good way of (describing it), actually. That’s an aphorism for Creeley – “One thought per syllable” (in the sense that each syllable seems to be like a new thought) – opposite from my kind of writing, or, say, somebody else, … 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

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[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

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[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

Warwick 1979 (Ginsberg-Orlovsky-Taylor-Pickard)

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[Steven Taylor, Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky. Photo: Saul Shapiro]

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[Tom Pickard]

Last week, we featured a 1979 reading (November 6 1979) by Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky (and Steven Taylor) in Warwick, England. This week a further concert from that same visit (this time at the University and featuring the active participation of the English poet Tom Pickard)

Audio for this occasion may be accessed here

Student/Organizer: We welcome to Warwick, Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard

AG: We’ll begin with music from a book called Mind Breaths, Poems 1972-1977, by myself, Allen … Read More

Friday December 30 – Patti Smith’s 70th birthday

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Patti Smith turns 70 today. She’ll be performing tonight, in Chicago, at the Riviera Theatre, with her band, part of an on-going tour celebrating the release of her groundbreaking 1975 debut album, Horses

What a year it’s been for Patti! (always quite a year for Patti! – poet as rock-star, poet as performer, poet as activist)

Poet as upholder of lineage and tradition – So, most recently, the extraordnary rendition of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the Nobel Prize ceremonies, honoring Nobel laureate, Bob Dylan

She … Read More

On Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind” (Breathing)

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[Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)]

AG: Another person who.. (we’re getting back to breath now) is Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind” (in this book on page 669). How many have read Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind” here? How many have not? How many have not read Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind”? How many have heard it read aloud ? [show of hands] – Okay . And how many have read it aloud themselves? – Well, it’d be interesting.. Let me try reading it aloud once and then we’ll all read it aloud. It’ll be fun. But the only … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore 1978 – 2

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[Mind Breaths: Poems 1972-1977, the volume of poems by Allen Ginsberg published in 1978 by City Lights]

continuing from yesterday

AG: So, actually, I was in the hospital and I actually went out of my skull, I was full of antibiotics and fever and it seemed like it was about time to take a meat axe to that dirty Jew’s skull or something, (that was what I was telling my poor Jewish brother about Kissinger). So, finally, I wound up in a sort of state of punk ecstasy. So two poems about sickness, one a description and one a … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore -1978 -1

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[Allen Ginsberg, performing at the Maryland Institute College of Art via MICA Digital Initiatives Unit]

Last weekend we featured a reading by Allen at the Maryland Institute of Art dating from 1969 (one of a number of extraordinary tapes recently digitalized and made available on-line by the Institute’s Decker Library). Today we feature another from that trove, Allen reading and performing at that same venue almost a decade later. Once again, alongside his own work, (accompanied by the ubiquitous harmonium, and a hastily picked-up, confessedly under-rehearsed, guitar-player – “Hoppy from The Moronics”), he performs versions of William Blake, Read More

Greensleeves

“My Lady Greensleeves” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti  (1828-1882) – oil on panel  33 x 27.3 cms (1863) at the Fogg Art Museum (Harvard University), Cambridge, Massachusetts

AG: And has anybody ever… everybody knows Greensleeves don’t they? Has anybody ever heard all the lyrics of Greensleeves? – They’re here? – Are they in our book here? Is Greensleeves in this book? –  I think so  – It’s of the same time and from one of these Miscellanies – A Miscellany from 1584 called “A Handful of Pleasant Delights”, where Greensleeves first was printed. Is it listed in the … Read More