Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Remembering today one of the great Buddhist teachers, Suzuki Roshi,  Shunryu Suzuki, influential Soto Zen priest and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the first Soto Zen training monastery in the United States and one of the very first Buddhist training monasteries to be established outside of Asia)

Suzuki was also the author of the hugely popular Zen Mind, Beginners Mind  (1970). a key book from a key figure in the spreading in the West of the dharma.

Here’s Allen – from an interview, circa.1996, with David Chadwick: 

DC: Can you remember the … Read More

Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg November 1957

[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s  Jack Kerouac-Writer ]

Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris.  Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.

Dear Allen.  Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s]  “sweetly in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 338

[Michael McClure, at Jerry Brown rally, Washington Square Park, New York City, April 1992. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

It’s Michael McClure’s birthday. The legendary Beat poet turns, astonishingly, 85 today. Happy Birthday, Michael!

Some of our previous McClure postings here, here and here.  Michael on Bob Dylan here.  Reading  with Allen in 1976 at Naropa, and with Diane di Prima in Golden Gate Park here. 

Lowell resident, and erudite maverick Jack Kerouac scholar, Paul Maher Jr, has a new book on Kerouac that we want to spread the word about, I Am The Revolutionary: Young Jack Kerouac, & … 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

Saturday May 20 (Robert Creeley)

Robert Creeley would have been ninety-one tomorrow, May 21st (he died in 2005). In honor of the great man and his birthday, we present, this weekend, another transcription from the extraordinary Bay Area Writers series (from back in 1975-76) – (see also here and here) – Rudimentary recording equipment, so there are, understandably, a few technical problems (particularly at the beginning and the end of tape one (the main tape) but.. what a treasure! , what a remarkable record!

RC: I’m curious, like.. I gather some of you.. that this is a class for some of you and some … Read More

The Beats at Naropa. Edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright

naropa

[The Beats at Naropa, edited by Laura Wright & Anne Waldman. Coffee House Press, 2009]

Anne Waldman & Laura Wright’s The Beats at Naropa has been on the shelves for almost a year now, but since we just recently got our hands on Marc Olmsted’s review of the book, it’s more than worth mentioning again, alongside Marc’s, thorough, entertaining, and anecdotal walk through the book, that gives us a little background on Naropa as well.

Beats at Naropa

Marc Olmsted

The cover photo says it all. It’s 1975. There’s Allen Ginsberg with Bell’s Palsy after an allergic reaction to antibiotics … Read More