The Asia Society’s panel discussion to compliment their photo-exhibition – Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993, featured, alongside curator John Tancock and art historian Joan Lebold Cohen, two Ginsberg associates – Bob Rosenthal and Steven Taylor. Both speak eloquently on the subject of New York’s East Village in the ‘80’s, and give fond first-hand recollections/memories of Allen.
Levi Asher, another Allen Ginsberg Project friend (and long-time Beat cyber-presence) has just released his Literary Kicks anthology, Beats in Time. Here’s how it’s presented on Amazon: “(Herein)’s the tale of Levi Asher’s audition for Francis Ford Coppola’s movie version of ‘On The Road’, and John Perry Barlow’s touching explanation of how Neal Cassady inspired the Grateful Dead song “Cassidy”. Don Carpenter reminisces about a 1964 poetry reading with Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen and Lew Welch, Laki Vazakas pays tribute to Marty Matz, Ray Freed pays tribute to Jack Micheline, Robert Creeley talks about web literature, W. S. Merwin and Allen Ginsberg get into a heated argument over forced nakedness as Buddhist prayer, Patricia Elliot describes William S. Burroughs’s funeral in Kansas, and Michael McClure describes, on the fiftieth anniversary of the legendary Six Gallery poetry reading, what it all meant.” Beats In Time also includes interviews with William S. Burroughs by Lee Ranaldo, Diane Di Prima by Joseph Matheny, John Allen Cassady by Levi Asher, and David Amram by Bill Ectric. The book (also) features an unusual centerpiece: a long recorded email thread featuring over 50 voices on the BEAT-L mailing list during the hours just before and after the announcement of Allen Ginsberg’s death.”
Philip Glass, it was announced, will be celebrating his 75th birthday next February by taking over New York’s Park Avenue Armory for three consecutive nights. Among the works that will be performed will be “Music in Twelve Parts” and the New York premiere of “Another Look at Harmony”, a work for organ and chorus that he started in 1975. A new work by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell will accompany a reading of Allen’s “Kaddish”. Patti Smith and her band will also perform with Glass in a concert entitled “The Poet Speaks”.
Alex Gibney (and Alison Ellwood)’s Magic Trip Ken Kesey documentary is starting to get some distribution and review. Here’s John Del Signore’s recent interview with the director, for The Gothamist .”Ginsberg is still on fire”, Gibney declares of the footage, “You can see him just exploding with vitality and ideas and charm”. Glimpses of Allen (from the film), as we’ve previously mentioned, can be accessed here.
August 12 1827, the great William Blake, visionary and genius, died on this day.