Steven Taylor

[Steven Taylor,  Tibet House Benefit rehearsal, February 28, 1995. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

[Allen Ginsberg photographed by Steven Taylor/ Steven Taylor photographed by Allen Ginsberg, NYC 1995 – courtesy The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

The dedication to Allen’s Cosmopolitan Geetings volume (1994) reads -“To Steven Taylor”  followed by that echoing line of William Shakespeare – “If music be the food of love, play on” – Steven, most definitely, did and has. It is a major omission that we haven’t focused on him before, here on the Allen Ginsberg Project – (altho’ we have – see for example here, here, hereRead More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 353

[Allen Ginsberg in his kitchen, 1988 – Photograph by Brian Graham]

The Toronto photo show, “Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds.., that we mentioned last week continues. What we omitted to mention was the accompanying catalog (printed and designed by the legendary Coach House Press). As curator, John Shoesmith writes in the forward – “The accompanying catalog attempts to further the story behind the Ginsberg photographs. It contains the voices of several key individuals who were crucial to the poet’s “second coming” as a photographer, beginning in the mid-1980s; from the person who planted the seed within Ginsberg to … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 352

Opening this past week, and on through April 27, at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library  – Fleeting Moments, Floating Words, and the Beat Generation – The Photography of Allen Ginsberg.


from Thomas Marks’  interview with the Italian painter  Giorgio Griffa  (in Apollo) – (Griffa’s current one-man show at London’s Camden Arts Centre, currently up, is up until the 8th of April):

“The work of Allen Ginsberg has also provided a touchstone; Ginsberg’s elegy for his mother, ‘Kaddish’, is … Read More

USA Poetry – Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, 1965

We’ve been featuring, these last few months, video from the Stanford University Archives (a number of intriguing videos of Allen reside there, though curiously, not this one – Allen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1965, from the ground-breaking WNET television series, USA Poetry, directed, as they all were, by the remarkable poet and filmmaker, Richard O Moore).

We’ll be featuring more from USA Poetry in the weeks ahead. But to start off with, Allen (filmed on two occasions, July 18 and December 14, 1965 – the broadcast went out the week of March 7 1966) .

The video begins with … Read More

Pound, Waller and The Wonder Breath

[“Oh!” ( the mouth open-wide, a “wonder-breath” – “Ah! – “Go!” – (Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky re Ezra Pound & Edmund Waller) – 1979 – Photograph by Desdemone Bardin]
AG: Well, if you..   I ‘d like to read that whole thing [Ezra Pound’s “Envoi“] once in..  just through, to get the variance from one stanza to another, because it seems that it’s surging, a very delicate surge from stanza to stanza that really concludes in a nice way – and it’s great music. In fact, why don’t we do it together?   this one.. … why don’t … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 342

[Paul Blackburn and company, from the Paul Blackburn papers, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego]

More big news, archival news, the Paul Blackburn audio collection, long in the safe-keeping of the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego, the great trove of New York City poetry recordings (“the most comprehensive oral history of the New York poetry scene between the late 1950s and 1970.”, in the words of Blackburn editor and scholar Edith Jarolim), has finally been digitalized and is now available on line.

The first release of this collection includes … Read More

Allan and Allen’s Complaint

Another video from the Stanford Archives this weekend – Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kuboto’s 1982 experimental video  “Allan ‘n’ Allen’s Complaint” (the twin subjects are Allan Kaprow and Allen Ginsberg), both sons of patriarchal fathers. The film explores that complex relationship.

“People are always talking about Jewish mother and nobody talks about Jewish father.”

AG: (So perhaps the father) is more withdrawn,  more vulnerable, less pushy in his emotions and relationship

AK: And there’s another side to it, (and) that is, the father tends to be the one who openly suffers, or is consecrated to some kind of suffering … Read More

Edmund Bolton’s Palinode

[“As vanisheth the light-blown bubble ever…..’]

AG: We’re way off the subject. ..which was.. there was a really great poem I wanted to lay out, which I put out,  by Henry King, (which is like the “Palinode“.) – We’ll get back to this (the “Palinode”) –  I mean, has anybody got some heavy thing that they want to continue it on?

Edmund Bolton’s “Palinode” (on page two-seventy), which sets forth a great theme that recurs through all English poetry and also a great logical way of handling the theme – and I   would like it because it’s … Read More

On The Composition of Haiku

[Heaven-Earth-Man Calligraphy]

continued from yesterday,   1980 Naropa classroom –  Student is refering to another student’s writing that Allen has just analyzed

Student:  For a while there, it seeemed like, like she was saying, it seemed like,  I don’t know how many syllables there were, but they seemed they were pared down, to the length of haiku,  almost

AG: The way she did it? – Yeah.  Yeah, but it didn’t work. It was sort of like awkward haiku(s) and no single one of them made a big deal except maybe, “the rhythmic twang of the steel cord slapping against the flagpole”,  … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 3 (Classroom Notation)

[“Rhythmic twang of steel cords slapping against the flagpole”]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Then, the other thing we came to, she [sic] had a poem that was a discrete series of code-word observations, one after another in a row, and it sounded, like, too choppy, or much like she was doing an exercise sketch of the ….”One lady lifts up her big leg over the…or big boot, and takes it off” – [ to Student] – What are the three images? – What’s the first one? there was…

Student: “Holding the attention”,,

AG: What?

Student: “Holding the attention..riding a bicycle, … Read More