Catching Up – Ben Jonson, John Donne)

[ Ben Jonson (1572-1637) & John Donne ( 1572-1631)

1980 -Allen was absent and unable to teach one week, so poet Dick Gallup took over his Naropa “Basic Poetics’ class. Allen, on his return, was eager to find out what happened.

AG: What happened with Dick (Gallup)? How was the class?

Student: It was funny

AG: What did you take up?

Student: Everything.. (John Donne),  (Ben) Jonson….

AG: Did he do the Ben Jonson poem on Shakespeare?

Student: No, no, he gave us some background about their lives.

AG: Good, because I don’t know anything about that.

Student He … Read More

Composed on The Tongue

AG: (It’s a collection of) ..spontaneous writings, at different times. And some of the stuff is (from quite (recent), here,) at Naropa (The last piece from (19)74-(19)75, and some interviews done here around (19)75. And then a long conversation with Michael Aldrich, Edward Kissam & Nancy Blecker, (in Cherry Valley) ,”Improvised Poetics” { editorial note – subsequently reprinted in Spontaneous Mind] …..done in 1968.  And then, 1967, about twenty-five pages– twenty pages – of conversations, laconic conversations, with Ezra Pound about the Cantos and about what he thought about life – All this has been published in Loka or … Read More

Naropa Summer Writing Program 2017

Starting tomorrow – the 2017 session of the Naropa Summer Writing Program.

Here are all the details. From June 11 to July 1st – “The New Weathers” – Anne Waldman explains: “By The New Weathers, we intend to name the ramifications of climate change wrought in the Anthropocene. The luminous details evidencing these changes abound, and daily the case of inevitably grows. These are urgent days, and a new world is possible––and this world is yet worth struggling for. To face facts with creative and spirited resolve; to see through webs of ignorance and power; to witness and study, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Rhyming Assignment

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa class transcript continues

Student; Did you ever do.. have a go [at Echo Poems]?

AG: No, never did one myself but it’d be interesting to do. Should I assign it to class?

Student: You could..

AG: You’re the T.A. (teaching assistant). The assignments.. the class assignments, we have, by the way, I said I’d get to.. was.. are,/ so far,/ .not very profuse, or exact, or neat/, or complete/. You haven’t hammered your stammer/ to make it exact or compact. So, what I would suggest/ would be you be the guest/ of the muse/ and … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 318

Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s birth tomorrow. Anne Waldman and guests will be celebrating it at the Fox Theatre in Boulder

Meanwhile in NYC (from 3-9) at the Howl Happening Gallery (also celebrating the upcoming re-release of the Ginsberg-Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience on CD)  – Ed Sanders, Steven Taylor, Ernie Brooks & Bear 54 and readings by Bob Rosenthal, Bob Holman, Hettie Jones, David Henderson, Basil King, & other surprise guests.

Speaking of Anne Waldman, how about this? – the Anne Waldman comic! – “the story of Anne Waldman in her … Read More

Larry Fagin (1937-2017)

Larry Fagin, poet, editor, teacher, long-time leading member of the so-called “New York School” of poetry, died yesterday. He was 79 years old. An important co-worker with Allen at Naropa (and, coincidentally, upstairs neighbour in his 12th Street tenement in Manhattan), he was, (though not himself a Buddhist), alongside fellow St Marks poet, Anne Waldman, one of the key figures in the initial years of that on-going experiment. Allen himself was quite unequivocal – “I don’t know of a better editor and teacher of poetry and prose than Fagin”, he once declared. Larry’s early teaching there can … 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

The Beat Generation – A Literary History (1953-1957)

Tomorrow is the official publication date of the new Ginsberg tome The Best Minds of My Generation – A  Literary History of The Beats,  edited by Bill Morgan.

April 13, on this day, thirty-five years ago, in Boulder, “in preparation for this summer’s Great ON THE ROAD festival”  (the twenty-five year celebration of Kerouac’s great enduring masterpiece) – “One and only time! Never before done and probably never after! An historic occasion!” – (Allen beats the drums!) –  “The Beat Generation – A Literary History (1953-1957)”, an eight-week course taught by Ginsberg, featuring himself,  (Gregory) Corso,  (William) Burroughs, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on David Letterman Show, 1982

Allen’s late-night American tv appearances – We’ve already featured a previous one (from May 10, 1994 on the Conan O’Brien tv show) –  here’s another appearance, the previous decade, (from “Late Night With David Letterman” – this program was broadcast on June 10, 1982, on NBC)

Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road !  Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation  (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More

Anne Waldman’s Birthday

Anne Waldman. poet, activist, co-founder with Allen of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) is seventy-two years old today. Happy Birthday, Anne!

Inveterate world-traveler, she’s currently in Mexico City at the moment (at Casa del Lago, the off-campus Cultural Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, for the 2017 Poesia En Voz Alta)

Later this month in New York (April 27) she will be celebrated at The Poetry Project at St Mark’s Church (another institution she helped to found – she was the former Artistic Director)  at a special … Read More