Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 2

Thai Allen Ginsberg

Beat inspired Thai poet Zakariya Amataya, the first ever Muslim recipient of the prestigious South East Asian Writers Award gets a good profiling this week. Interesting character, we look forward to hearing more about him. “Maybe we call Walt Whitman the father of new American poets, but I think the second (father) is Allen Ginsberg”, he proudly declares.

Kerouac in Persian

Elsewhere from around the globe (from IBNA – the Iran Book News Agency), Jack Kerouac’s ‘Book of Haikus’, we’ve just heard, has just been translated into Persian by the Iranian-born,
English-based poet, writer, broadcaster, Alireza Hassani (pen-name Alireza Abiz), and is to be published in that country, so they say, “in the next two months”.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti in his office with pooch, Whitman photo, files, coatracks, bookbags, posters at City Lights, up on balcony, B’way and Columbus Ave, San Francisco 1984. Allen Ginsberg (c. Allen Ginsberg Estate)

Speaking of cultural ambassadors, “Allen Ginsberg was a great cultural ambassador. He spoke taxi-cab Spanish. He stayed up all night in Chile translating “Howl” into Spanish with other poets.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s illuminating memories of the Latin American poets, and of the Russian poets, and of much else besides, appears in Jesse Tangen-Mills interview in the current issue of Guernica – A Magazine of Art and Politics. Well worth a read. The 91-year-old Ferlinghetti remains, as Tangen-Mills points out , “revolutionary” and “unrepentant.”

Patti Smith – Congratulations!

Our friend Patti Smith was just awarded the National Book Award for her book, Just Kids, an autobiographical memoir of her long-time friendship with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Here’s her on NPR (on Terri Gross’ Fresh Air) including her reading from the section where she recounts her first (confusing? amusing?) meeting with Allen


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