Kral Majales


[Allen Ginsberg, crowned Kral Majales (King of May), Prague, 1965. Photographer unknown. c Allen Ginsberg LLC)]

Allen’s Czech translator, Josef Rauvolf, happened to locate this one for us. We’ve seen bits of footage from that day, but none with some of the actual sound as you get here. Allen comes on as May King at around 1:30. Keep in mind this is the first traditional May Day celebration – where students elect a May King (Kral Majales) to rule over a bacchanal each May day – that the Communists allowed since their takeover in 1945. The Communists had instead used … Read More

Vera von Kreutzbruck interviews Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman for WIP

[Howl Directors Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein. Photograph courtesy of the Berlinale.]

“Allen Ginsberg’s Poetic Prophecy” – Here’s an interview by Vera von Kreutzbruck with the two filmmakers responsible for the recently-completed “Howl” film

“Howl”, a biopic centered on beatnik Allen Ginsberg’s seminal poem and the resulting obscenity trial, was the most moving and intellectually engaging film presented at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival”, she declares.

Read the full interview – here Read More

Happy Birthday Elsa Dorfman!



[Elsa Dorfman with the Polaroid 20×24 camera. There are only six of these cameras in the world. The image is 23″x36″ and is of course in that wonderful Polaroid color. photos c. Elsa Dorfman]

Allen met Elsa Dorfman in 1959 when she was working at Grove Press and was arranging poetry readings for Grove’s poets, including Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Denise Levertov, Joel Oppenheimer, and Edward Field. She kept close with these poets, and continued to book readings when she returned to her home-town, Cambridge, where, in the late ’60s, she took up photography. Her … Read More

Howl gets picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories

It’s official! Adam Yauch’s Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up Howl (the movie)  for distribution, which means we’re looking at a September general theatrical release. Directors Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman had been holding out in hopes that “O-scope” would buy the film, since, in their words, it’s ‘one of the hippest distributors out there.” Good catch for all we say. Read further details – hereRead More

The Beats at Naropa. Edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright


[The Beats at Naropa, edited by Laura Wright & Anne Waldman. Coffee House Press, 2009]

Anne Waldman & Laura Wright’s The Beats at Naropa has been on the shelves for almost a year now, but since we just recently got our hands on Marc Olmsted’s review of the book, it’s more than worth mentioning again, alongside Marc’s, thorough, entertaining, and anecdotal walk through the book, that gives us a little background on Naropa as well.

The cover photo says it all. It’s 1975. There’s Allen Ginsberg with Bell’s Palsy after an allergic reaction to antibiotics – half his face … Read More

An update on the Roma district of Mexico City. What’s it like now?

A well-researched story today on the AP wire by David W Koop, tracing the footsteps of Kerouac & Burroughs through Mexico City, definitely worth a read for anyone heading down for a visit, or just interested in their history there 

[Left to right: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso and Lafcadio Orlovksy – Mexico City’s Alameda Park, in front of the Neptune Fountain, about which the article quotes Kerouac from Tristessa “a magnificent fountain and pool in a green park at a round O-turn in residential splendid shape of stone and glass and old grills and scrolly worly … Read More

New photo of Rimbaud surfaces

A newly-discovered photo of Arthur Rimbaud? – The  Daily Telegraph reported last week that two French booksellers discovered the photo  (see above) amongst cards and bric-a-brac at a market ‘somewhere in France.’ This would be the first known photo of Rimbaud as an adult that wasn’t blurry beyond recognition. We had our hopes up, but…  Seems. unfortunately, that it’s most likely a hoax. Pierre Joris caught wind of  the culprit, a “crazy Rimbaldian forger” after posting this discovery to his blog, and seems to have sufficient info to support the claim – see here Read More

The bard’s tugboat ride

In his New Yorker story about on a family tugboat pilots, Burkhard Bilger, among other things, profiles a sweet kinship between Allen, Peter Orlovsky and the boat pilot, Latham Smith. Their digital edition even features a fun little super-8 film of them taking the boat out for a spin. Thanks again to Steve Silberman for catching this one! We’re trying to locate Orlovsky’s poem in the following reference, but so far no luck. Doesn’t seem to be in Clean Asshole Poems…  maybe lost?

“In a Super 8 film of the sea trial, Allen Ginsberg is along for the … Read More

Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards Presents “I Am America”

workcenter Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards I Am America St. Mark’s Church (2nd Ave & East 10th St) New York, NY 10009 8pm, Wednesday, April 14 Suggested donation $10

For those of you in the New York City area this coming Wednesday (huge apologies we still tend to be NYC-centric here, tho we do vow to change that!), the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards are staging their performance based on several of Allen’s poems. We’ve seen their other project “Electric Party,” also an adaptation of Allen’s poems, but, we’re told, without the narrative that “I Am America” … Read More