Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 315

[Allen Ginsberg teaching at Naropa Institute – Photograph  Steve Silberman]

From Steve Silberman‘s review of the new Allen Ginsberg book, Bill Morgans selection of Allen’s lectures, Best Minds of My Generationwhich appeared last weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle:  

“Scholarly, wide-ranging and full of penetrating insight and fascinating literary gossip, the book is a major contribution to the core Beat canon, and provides an astonishingly intimate view of a homegrown American literary movement that would have a generative influence worldwide, inspiring generations of writers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians and political activists across the globe..”… Read More

Monday May 1st

[Mayday – Eric Drooker

Mayday – always a big day on the Allen Ginsberg Project

For an extended look at Allen – the May Day King  – see here

“And I am the King of May, which is the power of sexual youth,/and I am the King of May, which is industry in eloquence and action in amour,/and I am the King of May, which is long hair of Adam and the Beard of my own body/and I am the King of May which is Kral Majales in the Czechoslovakian tongue..”… Read More

Earth Day

[Edmund Muskie listens to Allen Ginsberg at the first Earth Day Celebration, Philadelphia, April 22nd, 1970]

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day, Mother Earth Day. The original manifestation on April 22, 1970, has mushroomed into a global awareness, global activity. It is no coincidence that today also marks the one-year anniversary of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change (an agreement entered into by representatives of no less than one-hundred-and-ninety-five countries, and – shockingly – criticized, derided and shunned by a corrupt and ignorant American leadership). The postponement of Tuesday’s scheduled talks on a potential US withdrawal … 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

Ezra Pound – Cantos – LXXXI – 2

 

Allen Ginsberg’s commentary on Ezra Pound  continues

AG: …(H)e (Ezra Pound)’s in a cage.. he’s in a prison-camp cage in Italy at the end of World War II, when the Allies have over-run Italy and he’s been captured. And in order to save him from being killed by the pro-Communist partisans (since he had taken Mussolini‘s part in the war and stayed in Italy and made broadcasts), the Chief of American Counter-Intelligence, a man named James Angleton, who had a magazine named Furioso in Carleton College in 1939 with Reed Whittemore, contemporary poet, living … 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

Instigating the Howl Trial – March 25, 1957

Sixty years ago today, the US Customs, in the person of Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated five-hundred-and-twenty copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”  – a pivotal moment  

From Bill Morgan‘s  Howl on Trial – The Battle for Free Expression:

“The Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated 520 copies [of Howl ] because, as he said, “The words and the sense of the writing is obscene…you wouldn’t want your children to come across it.”   U.S. Customs Law required a Federal Judge, upon application of the U.S. Attorney,  to grant permission to destroy the books. But, as [City Lights publisher, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Austin – Interview – 1978

Interviewer: So we want to figure out what’s best, you know, what will be most comfortable for you. What I want to do is an oral history of the ‘Sixties and Austin’s an interesting area because there’s a major university with a lot of anti-war… There was a segregtion case, a very famous law case here in 1959. There’s been an awful lot of work with the valley farm workers and Chicanos, plus we”ve got the Rothschilds here [sic], we’ve got all of LBJ‘s legacy. Basically, Austin’s sort of conservative but with the university and the State Capitol here, … Read More

Bonnie Bremser

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Yesterday we spotlighted Ray Bremser, today we spotlight his sometime-wife Bonnie (nee Frazer) Bremser and the extraordinary document Troia-Mexican Memoirs (1969) (published in England as For Love of Ray (1971)), a “lost classic of Beat experimental writing.”

Heike Mlakar, in her 2007 book, Merely Being There Is Not Enough – Women’s Roles in Autobiographical Texts by Female Beat Writers, notes:

“The male-dominated Beat circle offered women only restricted freedom. For The Love of Ray, as well as the memoirs of other Beat women, criticizes the fact that women were doubly suppressed, by “square” society at … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 300

[“Ground Zero for the Beat Generation” – Unidentified Woman reading from “Howl” inside the 7 Arts Coffee Gallery in New York City, c.1957 – Photograph by Dave Heath]

No Friday-Round Up last week, so a little catch up today, starting with Sean Elder’s Gary Snyder interview, “National Treasure,” in Lion’s Roar.

 [Gary Snyder at the Center For Interfaith Relations’ 2014 Festival of Faiths: Sacred Earth, Sacred Self]

GS: “The first time I met Allen Ginsberg was at Rexroth’s house—Allen had just come up from Mexico. The first time I saw  Kerouac was when Allen brought him to … Read More