William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship … Read More

Allen Ginsberg at County College, Morris, New Jersey, 1979

Continuing with our spotlight on the videotapes in the Stanford University Archives (we’re coming to the end of it). Today’s feature (like last week’s) is nuggets extracted from a broader swath. In 1987, Sander Zulauf made a selection (on two tapes) of readings that took place between 1976 and 1985 at CCM, the County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey – The First American Poetry Disc – An Introduction to Poetry, which featured over a dozen American poets, (most, if not all, of a decidedly academic bent – The undeniably stand-out reader/anomaly here was Allen (who, accompanied by … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 335

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time,  “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period”  (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 333

Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network –  “The Transcultural Beat Generation”  is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”.  The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.

Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by … Read More

July 12, 1995 – Part Two (Sikelianos, Waldman, Carroll)

Continuing from yesterday

This second part of the reading begins with Eleni Sikelianos

[Eleni Sikelianos, photo:  Maria Garcia-Teutsch]

Max Regan: “Eleni Sikelianos is the author of To Speak While Dreaming, published in 1993 by Salva Editions . She’s also the recipient of a California Arts Council Residency grant in San Francisco where she teaches writing to children and the homeless and at the San Francosco Art Institute. She has work appearing in Japan, has been translated into French, and will be published in France this Fall. She recently recieved the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American WritingRead More

July 12 1995 – Part One (Ginsberg, Blaser, Brown)

Anniversaries. We love anniversaries.  July 12, 1995.  The above group-reading at Naropa, twenty-two years on. The above six were joined by Steven Taylor (on several pieces, as accompanist) and Andrew Schelling and Max Regan giving introductions).  The tape begins in media res with Allen reading  from his “visionary dream”  of the past January (January 14. 1995) , followed by “Newt Gingrich Declares War On “McGovernik Counterculture” , “The Ballad of the Skeletons”  (“Skeleton Keys”),  and “New Stanzas For Amazing Grace”

Allen Ginsberg: “(Poetry America was born before us & will live after us — and would’ve been visible … Read More

Jack Collom (1931-2017)

Following the death of Larry Fagin, news reaches us this morning of the death of another of the great Naropa poet-teachers, Jack Collom. When Allen and Anne Waldman set up the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in 1974 in Boulder, Colorado, Colorado already had one distinctive inventive joyful maverick poet at hand, Jack Collom. He was swiftly engaged in the experiment and soon (not soon enough, as we recall) became an integral part of the faculty. This page (from the Naropa University Archive) provides links to countless instances of Jack’s participation. We might, arbitrarily, single out … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 322

The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience, as tuned by Allen Ginsberg on Omnivore Recordings  (first time on CD & digital, including rare and previously unreleased material).  As anticipated, the raves are coming in.

Here’s Thom Jurek on the allmusic web-site, singing the praises of what he refers to as a “treasure” of a document.

“It’s impossible to overestimate Ginsberg’s  influence on American culture; likewise, these recordings are nothing less than an integral, inseparable part of his oeuvre. It’s obvious that while Ginsberg took great delight in making these recordings, he also took them very seriously; his intent is … Read More

Naropa Summer Writing Program 2017

Starting tomorrow – the 2017 session of the Naropa Summer Writing Program.

Here are all the details. From June 11 to July 1st – “The New Weathers” – Anne Waldman explains: “By The New Weathers, we intend to name the ramifications of climate change wrought in the Anthropocene. The luminous details evidencing these changes abound, and daily the case of inevitably grows. These are urgent days, and a new world is possible––and this world is yet worth struggling for. To face facts with creative and spirited resolve; to see through webs of ignorance and power; to witness and study, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg reading at Warwick University 1979 (continues)

De Amerikaanse dichter Allen Ginsberg in 1979 in de Gentse Poëziewinkel.

[ Allen Ginsberg at the Ghent Poetry Shop, 1979, photo: Michiel Hendryckx]

Allen Ginsberg reading at Warwick University, November 1979

continuing from here

AG I’ll begin with a recent song, similar to what we started with, in the sense that it has a rest in it, like “Lie Down you lie Down”. Actually I was thinking, while writing this thing, of Thomas Campion in his measure of vowels and the rests, where he breaks time, like dancers

[Beginning at approximately forty-two-and-a-half minutes in (with harmonium accompaniment and with an extended sequence of nonsense syllables – baddadum-bom-ba – and … Read More