William S Burroughs & Allen Ginsberg on the Yage Letters, Ayahuasca, & Junky’s Christmas

Came across this little gem recently from Charles Ruas‘ WBAI show, from 1975, a segment entitled “In Search of Yage.” It’s 95 per cent Allen on William Burroughs & their collection of letters, The Yage Letters (which, incidentally, was re-issued in 2006 by City Lights, with extensive notes by Oliver Harris and additional materials, as The Yage Letters Redux). Recordings of Burroughs reading a selection of the letters are also scattered throughout the program.

A good number of Ruas’ shows have now been posted online (2010) , including, notably, one of Allen reading (in 1968), and a 1975 discussion on Naked Lunch that includes James Grauerholz, Maurice Girodias and Carl Solomon, and also sections of the book read by Burroughs himself. Other shows currently available feature such luminaries as Ed Sanders, New Directions’ James Laughlin, and theater director, Richard Foreman.

While we’re on the subject of yage, it’s worth posting, perhaps, a link to this all-too-rarely-seen classic of Burroughs narrating a short film on ayahuasca:

And of course what Christmas season posting would be complete without Burroughs’ “Junky’s Christmas!”

You can watch The Junky’s Christmas – here

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