Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky in Warwick (England) 1979

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[ Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, 1978]

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky read and sang a selection of their poetry at Warwick Arts Center on November 6th, 1979. The performances were recorded (along with a further performance at the University of Warwick that night, featuring English poet, Tom Pickard). Steven Taylor was also on hand to provide guitar accompaniment.

The recording from the Arts Center is our feature this weekend and may be listened to – here

The reading begins with a performance by Allen (on harmonium) of two songs by William Blake – “My Pretty Rose TreeRead More

Keats and Shelley – (Keats’ Last Poem)

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[John Keats’ grave at the The Cimitero Acattolico (“Non-Catholic Cemetery”) in Rome, Italy]

 On Keats and Shelley  continued

Student: Have you seen the grave (of John Keats)?

AG: Yeah, sure, many times. I went there with Gregory.. (I) went there alone once and I went there with Gregory (Corso)

Student: I went there and it was closed but there was a little chink in the wall

AG: Yeah, and you can look in..

PO: I don’t think I was there.

AG: I think we went this time with (Fer)nanda (Pivano)

PO: Oh my god!

AG: ..in June, that one … 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

Poetic Inspiration

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Student: Spirit?

AG: As respiration, inspiration, spiritus, Holy Spirit! (the holy breath)…let me see what it says here [Allen points to his book (a dictionary)] – I don’t think this is etymological.. it may be…let’s see.. “spiritus” – How many did not know spirit meant breath, breathing? – and how many knew? [show of hands] – That proves it. Most knew. In other words, it’s known.

Peter Orlovsky:  (I suppose) “Spirit”  (is) when you die you go up to heaven.

AG: Well, you go into the air. You fade into the air. [Allen, reading from the dictionary] – “… Read More

The Burning Babe & Intro to The Mental Traveler

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[Holy Poet-martyr St Robert Southwell And The Burning Babe (detail), William Hart McNichols 2015]

AG: How many were not here last time?. Well, okay.. Gordon Ball’s here and wants to take some pictures so if you don’t mind flashing.. lightning-bolts.. .burning babes… The last time, we dealt with “The Burning Babe”Robert Southwell’s poem, (page) 186. I think I had assigned it so for those of you who haven’t read it, you can read it later, but the idea was that there was this weird image of a burning babe (how many were here then?), burning babe, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 293

Bob Dylan, The Mann Center, Philadelphia, July 13, 2016. via Bill’s Music Blog

So Bob Dylan won’t be heading over to Sweden to pick up his Nobel Prize for Literature on December the 10th. The Swedish Academy said Wednesday that Dylan told them he “wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments made it unfortunately impossible”. He is still, however, required to give a Nobel lecture some time between now and next June.

Rolling Stone announces it here, The Guardian here, here in the New York Times.

More Dylan news – and a must-read – (in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 286

 

     
Allen Ginsberg and his life-long partner, Peter Orlovsky, New York City, 1977 – Photograph by Gordon Ball

 

The Beat Generation exhibit at the Pompidou Center draws to a close with a number of specially-scheduled events – a colloquium and a series of films. Last chance to catch this extraordinary exhibit in its Parisian manifestation.

Here‘s Joseph Nechvatal‘s review in Hyperallergic

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Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg

et aussi à Paris Next week sees the publication of Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by … Read More

Studs Terkel Radio Interview – Part 7 (Conclusion)

                                                                [Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

The Studs Terkel Ginsberg-Corso-Orlovsky interview (courtesy PennSound), that we’ve been serializing this week, concludes here
ST: Let’s get back to the comments you made. Is there any.. can we pin it down?.. people do communicate , you know..
AG: Yes, but I would say “No ideas but in things” , which is what (William Carlos) Williams also says. In other words, No..
Read More

Studs Terkel Radio Interview – Part 6

[Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in Water Moon Form (Shuiyue Guanyin) Liao Dynasty (907-1125), 11th Century  (willow with traces of pigment,  woodblock construction), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]

Studs Terkel’s 1959 interview with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and a taciturn Peter Orlovsky (courtesy PennSound) continues
ST: So in other words you believe in compassion ? (or) you’re afraid of that word too?
GC: Compassion is a beautiful word.
AG: I’m in favor of compassion in other people.
GC: That’s compassion for Gregory.
ST: But you feel you are not..  Now are you putting.. Is this a façade?
AG: I … Read More

Studs Terkel 1959 Radio Interview – Part 4

 [Peter Orlovsky – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]
For earlier segments see here, here and here 
ST: Peter Orlovsky, what were you about to say?
Peter Orlovsky: The Howard Johnson’s..when we were going along the highway, we stopped at the Howard Johnson’s. And they had (have) these little cards, you know – What’s your waitresses number? Did you like the way she served you? What did she serve you? Was it enough? Was it too small? Was it too large? Do you have any comments about Howard Johnson’s? (the inside … Read More