Encountering Allen

Sunflower Serpent, June 30, 1989. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

Yesterday, we directed you to the Memorial/Tributes section of our blog [2018 update – this feature of the blog no longer available – Memorial/Tributes section incorporated elsewhere] . First-hand encounters. We know there are zillions of them. Allen definitely left an impression on everyone he met. We’ll be adding to this and featuring more in the months to come. Steve Silberman’s Our Allen Facebook page, some years back, set up a forum for recollection and memoir that includes some sweet personal accounts and is well worth re-visiting. Contributions by David Cope, Chris Funkhauser, Eliot Greenspan, Marc Olmsted and Steve himself, as well as notes, links, and a whole, whole, lot more.

Our Allen, incidentally, bills itself as a group for “former students, friends, apprentices, lovers, comrades, gurus.. peers..Beat fellow-travelers, first-thought-best-thought dharma heirs, faculty and alumnae of the Jack Kerouac School..dakinis and tantrikas, bums and hideous human angels..”! It is, and remains, an invaluable source. It has now just been joined by a new kid on the block (allow us to toot our trumpets just a little here!) – the Allen Ginsberg Project Facebook page

Sign up for both! Be the first with all the Ginsy news!

(There is also another¬†Allen Ginsberg Facebook page, with which we are not affiliated, but take time out to salute for generously “spreading the dharma“).

So, encounters – let’s start the ball rolling with this one: “Grapefruitcrazy” (sic), a retired London-based journalist, posted his thoughts about Allen and Peter last year. (“the audience sat silent, stunned by the raw emotion..”).

And here‘s Canadian journalist, Matthew Hays (a hand on the cheek from the master).

Sometimes the encounters are not quite so invigorating. Here’s Alexander Laurence‘s less-than-successful 1992 interview (“I didn’t get along so well with Allen Ginsberg as is evident in the following..”).

Instances like this, tho’, are atypical. Far far more typical are heartfelt “shout-outs” like this one from Chris Scholl (on his quaintly-named Love, Art and Fear blog):

“He spoke at class in Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. I stayed in Boulder for three weeks after my dad passed away. My main interest was the music therapy and Transpersonal psychology programs but I was able to sit in on any class that I wanted …I find Allen Ginsberg to be very inspiring. Often, writers and poets struggle in this over-commercialize(d) world and he (served) serves as a shining example of one who produced art for the right reasons.

Cheers Allen.”

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