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

Ginsberg-Taylor-Orlovsky-Pickard 1979 Warwick continued

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[Allen Ginsberg and Steven Taylor, 1979]

Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard reading at Warwick University, November,  1979  continues from here

AG: Steven Taylor, please favor us with a song (Steven Taylor being a poet as well as being a musician)

ST: I’m going to sing a song that I wrote after first reading the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, the Russian woman poet who was banned by (Joseph) Stalins government in 1929 and was not published after that time. She identified with the wife of Lot in the Bible, who was turned … Read More

Quentin Crisp

[Allen Ginsberg with writer, raconteur, wit, Quentin Crisp, at the Kiev Restaurant, NYC, 1995]

Seventeen years since the passing of Quentin Crisp, the unforgettable Quentin Crisp. Crisperanto – The Quentin Crisp Archives – are lovingly and comprehensively curated by archivist/curator Phillip Ward.   So much extraordinary material there.  Don’t miss it. Here’s just a little sampling of the man himself, starting with his acting debut in the 1967 short, Captain Busby (based on a surreal poem by Philip O’Connor)

And Bernard Braden’s BFI interview the following year (“the year “ The Naked Civil Servant” was first published and … 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 – 292

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It’s been a monumental week.   Here at the Ginsberg blog now on Ginsberg.org we’re transitioning (as you see) from our old site to our new presence (part of the spruce-up of the entire site). Some work remains, protecting and reconstituting our archives, (not to mention, other aspects of the site), meticulously going through old posts one-by-one, so bear with us.

Meanwhile, like the rest of the world, still reeling, Here’s the ACLU’s statement.

Not enough that a madman is handed keys to the world.   The death, yesterday, aged 82, of poet-troubadour legendary rock star, Leonard Cohen.  R.I.P.

Rolling Read More

Walt Whitman on Falsehood and Democracy

Walt Whitman, writing in 1871, in Democratic Vistas 

“..I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us. The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believ’d in, (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings,) nor is humanity itself believ’d in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of … Read More

“Trembling Lambs”

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William Blake – title-page of America a Prophecy copy A (printed 1795) – collection of the Morgan Library

 

Allen, writing, prophetically, in 1959:

AG: “Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete…”

“Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can ever know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one … Read More