The Brooklyn Rail have just posted “Recalling Allen”, Eliot Katz’ appreciation of Allen from his 2009 book Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking out from North America’s Skull published by Narcissus Press, & it definitely seemed appropriate to re-post here today. Eliot’s been quite ill, recovering from over a year long bout of Lyme disease & we’re all hoping he’s feeling better soon.
“The world could sure use Allen Ginsberg’s sane voice and political vision today. Lucky for the planet, his voice is still with us—in books, recordings, and recollections.
Allen was a generous teacher and friend. I met Allen late one afternoon in the fall of 1976. I was drinking coffee, or maybe it was beer, with my roommate Danny Shot, on our Guilden Street, New Brunswick, NJ front porch. We were taking a Rutgers University class on “The Beat Tradition in American Literature,” taught by an inspired grad student, Bob Campbell, and we were anticipating a Ginsberg student center reading later that night. A taxi drove up to the apartment across the street where our friend Kevin Hayes lived, and Allen got out of the back seat and started unloading cardboard boxes from the trunk. Kevin was a local poet and friend who was—previously unbeknownst to us—the organizer of the night’s event. Danny and I went to help unload cartons that turned out to be Allen’s father’s manuscripts stored, until that night, at the Rutgers library…..”