Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 335

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

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 – 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

April 1st – April Fool – Holy Goof

[Allen Ginsberg, 1976. Photo: Robert Turney]

“Then there’s something I like to call Crazy Seriousness. Kerouac used the word “goof” a lot in a very positive way, as when he was describing the Three Stooges in Visions of Cody. He was talking about Neal Cassady, actually, saying how the free imagination he felt in himself was justified in the world outside and he had nothing therefore to reproach himself for…”

[Clark Coolidge on Jack Kerouac]  – in Disembodied Poetics – Annals of the Jack Kerouac School – edited by Anne Waldman and Andrew Schelling … Read More

John Donne (continues – 7)

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[ John Donne (1572-1631)]

AG : “A Valediction..(Forbidding Mourning)”  (by John Donne) (page two-thirty-nine). That was like… here you find a..the acme of Donne in his use of  images from cartography, compasses and spheres, and.. and I think that, like, is nowadays you have heavy-metal comix, or (William) Burroughs‘ poetry which has a lot of space-age imagery (android space-age martian heavy-metal). So, in those days, because of the adventures in America reported back, there’s a lot of.. everybody was hung up on the sort of apocalyptic imagery of a New World, and sailing, and making maps. There’s a … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 302

jack-kerouac-e-neal-cassady

[Neal Cassady and Jack  Kerouac]

[Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac – The Joan Anderson Letter via Heritage Auctions]

The legendary Joan Anderson letter is back in the news again. “The seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Neal Cassady’s epic letter to Jack Kerouac, which, for almost sixty years, was thought missing and then was miraculously rediscovered and put up for auction (only to, surprisingly, fail to reach its asking price) is up for auction again.

The auction date is March 8. Bidding begins approximately February 17th (next week). Full details may be found at Heritage Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

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Neal Cassady‘s birthday today and that means the (8th) annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash, held at the Mercury Cafe (in the upstairs ballroom)  in Denver.

Performers and readers at the 2017 Bash will include Denver author of Chicano noir fiction, Manuel Ramos, poets Ed Ward and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, Zack Kopp (author of The Denver Beat Scene), and singer/songwriter Marty Jones,  and Neal’s son Robert Hyatt (who has just published his first book, Beat Bastard),  If you wanna know just how Hyatt discovered Neal was his father,  check out Gregory Daurer’s piece in this week’s … Read More