Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 18

Allen Ginsberg 25th Anniversary Reading of Howl, 1981 – photo by Marvin Moore

Marvin Moore’s extraordinary picture of an ecstatic Allen reading from Howl at Columbia University in 1981, on the occasion of the poem’s 25th anniversary, heads up our weekly round-up. Further images (a studio portrait (from 1985), two portraits of Allen in the street (from the same day) and Allen and Peter in Halifax, Nova Scotia (1992) can be accessed here. Check out his website for more indepth look at his work.

Two new Allen biographies that we’re looking forward to – Well, Steve Finbow is just putting finishing touches on his (a critical biography, for Reaktion Books’ “Critical Lives” series). His thoughts on that can be found here

Meanwhile, Bob Rosenthal (Allen’s long-time secretary)’s first-hand account of life at the center of the Ginsberg vortex, Straight Around Allen, is, also. well on its way towards completion, so we hear.

Anne Waldman and her son Ambrose (Bye) recall the generosity of Allen on two shaky but charming You Tube video clips (from a December 2010 date in Cookesville, Tennessee), here and here. More of Anne on that occasion can be seen here. Damion Rogers interviews her for Lemon Hound The Iovis Trilogy, the complete edition of her epic (720-page!) poem. “a visionary call to poetic arms”, will be published by Coffee House Press early this summer Bob Holman, recently on tour with her in Montreal, proposes what he calls “a Ginsberg turn-on”. It can, he explains,” take any form, so long as Allen is evoked (probably by reading his poetry), his energy acknowledged, (and) the continuance of his work engaged”. His own Bowery Poetry Club plans to inaugurate a “Ginsberg Turn On”, coming up soon, twenty minutes, each night, every Tuesday evening. Here’s a sad story about Harry Smith “turning in his grave” (from this week’s New York Post) And The Chelsea Hotel is similarly not what it was in days of yore.

And.. 54 years ago today Chester MacPhee of United States Customs Office in San Francisco seized 520 copies of the second printing of Howl and Other Poems on the grounds its contents were obscene.

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