1974 – Scottish International Interview

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph(s) by Ian Dryden]

We’ve previously featured here footage from Allen’s 1973 visit to Scotland     ( a reading for the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow). We also featured some grainy footage (and some transcription from his press conference). Here (with some duplication) is the interview that appeared in Scottish International, September 1973. Allen, as a note in the magazine reveals, had been visiting with Chogyam Trungpa (in exile then in Scotland)  and the Buddhist community at Samye Ling monastery at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries, as well as giving readings and traveling around.  He had also taken time … Read More

More Whitman

continuing to celebrate Walt Whitman –  (and Whitman’s prescience)

from Allen’s 1980 essay, “On Walt Whitman, Composed on the Tongue, or, Taking A Walk Through Leaves of Grass” (originally published in Walt Whitman – The Measure of His Song (1981) and included in the essay-collection, Deliberate Prose (2000))

“There was a man, Walt Whitman, who lived in the nineteenth century in America, who began to define his own person, who began to tell his own secrets, who outlined his own body, and made an outline of his own mind, so other people could see it. He was the sort of … Read More

Walt Whitman’s Birth-day

Walt Whitman was born on this day, May 31st, 1819, at West Hills, Huntington, Long Island.

[Walt Whitman’s birthplace – Photograph courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C]

Later on in his life:

“After more than forty years’ absence, the author of Leaves of Grass, and founder of this paper [sic] has been visiting our town the past week in company with Dr. R. M. Bucke, of London, Canada, who is engaged in writing a life of “the good gray Poet.” They put up at the Huntington House, and spent several days in calls … Read More

Sunday May 21 (Robert Creeley)

[Robert Creeley (1926-2005)]

Robert Creeley continued (from yesterday)

Sunday May 21 – Robert Creeley’s birthday today.

We continue with our transcript of his 1976 Bay Area Writers reading

RC  I thought possibly to read a few of the poems that would’ve come from that time of ..of being in the city…just seeing their titles and…let’s see…”The Bed”  [continues searching] – oh well.. this may get so awkward I won’t bother to ….

Jack’s Blues was sort of written with Jack (Kerouac)  in mind (“I’m going to roll a monkey and smoke it…’…’gone like a sad old candle”) … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 308

Heads-up for next Friday! (Friday April 7) – Ginsberg Green – “A spoken word & musical gathering honoring the life and Green activism of Allen Ginsberg” – a unique celebratory event, organized by our good friend Patrick Warner, scheduled to take place at The Sprinkler Factory in Worcester, Mass, starting approximately 6 o’clock.

The event will include Ann Charters (reading from Lospecchio Press’ Best Minds – A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg),  Gordon Ball (reading from his Cherry Valley memoir, East Hill Farm), and  Warner himself reading  “selected Ginsberg texts & interviews that exemplify & manifest Ginsberg’s Green … Read More

Corso (& Whitman)

[Gregory Corso, 1993]

More Beat photo portfolios. Today, March 26, would have been the 87th birthday of the rambunctious Gregory Corso.

[Gregory Corso, New York City, 1953 – Photography by Allen Ginsberg]

[Gregory Corso at the Beat Hotel, Paris, 1958 – Photograph by Harold Chapman]

[Gregory Corso, making a call in the White Horse Tavern, New York City, February 1959 –  Fred W. McDarrah – Photo Courtesy Estate of Fred W, McDarrah]

[Gregory Corso in front of the Parthenon, Athens, 1959. Photograph by James Burke]

[Gregory Corso, Tangier, July 1961. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]

[Gregory Corso at the Royal Albert … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 304

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[Allen Ginsberg “signing a book at Harry Smith‘s funeral with his montblanc pen”, 1991 – Photograph © Thomas Peters]

Michael Schumachers collection of miscellaneous Ginsberg interviews, First Thought, as we mentioned last week, will be published very soon. Meantime, it’s worth considering Schumacher’s other titles, his masterly distillation of The Essential Ginsberg (out from Harpers in 2015), his remarkable edit of the Ginsberg father-son letters, Family Business, (2001)  and his monumental biography, Dharma Lion (1994,recently re-issued by University of Minnesota Press in an expanded edition, 2016)

A recent review of the latter  the new edition … Read More

Creeley on Ginsberg – (“When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer…”)

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[Robert Creeley (1926-2005)]

Following the couple of recent  posts on the great American poet, Robert Creeley – here and here here’s Creeley’s poem/elegy for Allen – “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer…” (from his 2003 volume, If I Were Writing This)

“WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER…”

A bitter twitter,

flitter,

of birds,

in evening’s

settling,

a reckoning,

beckoning

someone’s getting

some sad news,

the birds gone to nest,

to roost

in the darkness,

asking no improvident questions,

none singing,

no hark,

no lark,

nothing in the quiet dark.

 

Begun with like hypothesis,

arms, head, shoulders.

with … 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