Fried Shoes /Cooked Diamonds

We came across this You Tube segment of a Gregory Corso class while perusing Elephant Journal’s recent story on Naropa University. To our great delight it links you to the complete streaming of Costanza Alione’s fantasticly entertaining documentary on Naropa’s early days Fried Shoes Cooked Diamonds. The entire cast of characters are all there in full color, William S Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Amiri Baraka, Anne Waldman, Peter Orlovsky, Allen’s Italian Translator Nanda Pivano, and many more. A most playful film and one very much worth watching.

2012 update – A more expanded version of this post is available on Read More

The Beats: A Graphic History

By Harvey Pekar, Nancy J. Peters, Penelope Rosemont, Joyce Brabner, Trina Robbins and Tuli Kupferberg

(Hill and Wang; 199 pages; $22)

We haven’t had a chance to check out the recently-published The Beats: A Graphic History so for now we’re relying on Gerald Nicosia’s review in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle. He points out some troubling factual errors, some fairly egregious ones in fact, but is even-handed enough to point out the book’s strong points, of which there seem to be many.

However, our favorite, without a doubt the most amusing & no-holds-barred vicious review, comes via Greg Adams … Read More

George Schneeman: Painter Among Poets 1934 -2009


Allen Ginsberg posing for painter George Schneeman – Photograph by Harvey Wang

New York City painter George Schneeman passed away this January. He was a frequent collaborator with generations of Lower East Side poets, including Ted Berrigan, Larry Fagin, Dick Gallup, Alice Notley, Bill Berkson, Anne Waldman, Ron Padgett and Allen Ginsberg, and very much part of the neighborhood’s cultural fabric. Anne Waldman’s wonderful short appreciation of his life in the current Poetry Project Newsletter (below) is a moving introduction to the painter among poets for those unfamiliar. Tributes & poems from Tom Clark, Alice Notley & Ron Padgett are … Read More

Ginsberg in Charleville December 1982

[Arthur Rimbaud. Musee Rimbaud, Charleville-Meziers]

[Allen Ginsberg & Simon Vinkenoog at Musee Rimbaud. December 1982. Courtesy Joep Bremmers]

Dutch writer & scholar Joep Bremmers has been working on a Journals project transcribing Ginsberg’s European Tour journals from December 1982-February 1983, meticulously footnoted alongside the originals. They begin with Ginsberg’s trip to Charleville, Arthur Rimbaud’s home town, with Dutch poet Simon Vinkenoog, sections of which we’ll post below. Bear in mind this is still very much a work in progress, and will likely form the core of a larger project on Vinkenoog & Ginsberg’s trip to Charleville. Check back for … Read More

Kill Your Darlings

[Kulchur Magazine Cover: William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, Morningside Heights, New York City December 1944. Ginsberg Collection]

We knew it wouldn’t be long before And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks (penned by Kerouac and Burroughs) would find its way into some screenwriter’s hands, but didn’t expect it this quickly. This is the first any of us have heard about this one, so no interesting background to share. I’m afraid. We can say that with producer Christine Vachon (Boys Don’t Cry, I’m Not There, Savage Grace) behind it, things are off to a very good start. Variety posted … Read More

Call For Papers

image: Peter Orlovsky, Allen Ginsberg and friends. Benares, 1963. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

Dear Readers, Academics, Scholars, A call for papers to be included in The Transnational/Global Beats: A Collection of Essays Editors: Jennie Skerl and Nancy Grace Publisher: For a Proposal to Be Submitted to Palgrave-Macmillan

It can be argued that the Beats are the only multigenerational avant-garde movement that has achieved transnational status and the only one that has resulted in a mass counterculture. This is an invitation for quality essays that address Beat Generation writers and other artists from the perspective transnationalism and/or globalization.

Possible topics include … Read More

Eliot Katz

We’d like to point out Eliot Katz‘s new collection of poems – that definitely merits mention here – Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking out from North American’s Skull, published by Narcissus Press with illustrations by William T. Ayton. It covers work from 2000 on.

Allen & Eliot became friends beginning with Eliot’s apprenticeship under Allen at Naropa in 1980, and they remained close, due in part to their kindred spirit for activism for humanitarian causes.

Here’s Eliot’s “Recalling Allen,” a brief note that gives a vivid glimpse of Allen’s interaction with students and his energetic activism.

For … Read More