Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 46

[Michael McClure at the Hartford Street Zen Center, where Philip Whalen was Sensei, August 28, 1991. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

From Ghost Tantras in 1967 to Of Indigo and Saffron – New and Selected Poems (2011) (and, indeed, from way before that, and stretching on), Michael McClure‘s muse has been distinctive and remarkable. is the portal but we’d also recommend the Karl Young and John Jacob site, Light and Dust, which features a fine selection of poems and essays by Michael and “considerations” (“the first tier of this gathering appeared in “A Symposium on Michael … Read More

Andrea Zanzotto (1921-2011)

“We die neither blest/ nor with curse confessed/ wanting Earth’s worst Best:/ But return, / where all Beauties rest.” (Allen Ginsberg – The Rune (from “Contest of Bards”)
We learn today of the passing of Andrea Zanzotto, “the last survivor of a great generation of 20th century writers in Italy“. He’d been ailing. He was 90 years old. Allen was honored to share the bill with him in 1995 in Conegliano (at the tribute that year for translator, and mutual friend, Fernanda Pivano).
The Zanzotto and Ginsberg sets are presented and contrasted above.
Here’s the word from … Read More

D.T.Suzuki (1870-1966)

[D.T.Suzuki – photo by Mihoko Okamura]
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), the great roshi, (teacher), prolific author of a variety of texts, including the hugely-influential An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1934) and Zen and Japanese Culture (1959), subject of Michael Goldberg’s extraordinary film, A Zen Life (2006), is universally credited with introducing Zen (Japanese Buddhism) to the West. Gary Snyder, in the film, calls him “probably the most culturally significant Japanese person in international terms, in all of history”. Carl Jung had earlier written, “Suzuki’s works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism…We … Read More

Remembering Arthur Miller (1915-2005)

[William H. Gass, Allen Ginsberg, and Arthur Miller in an elevator in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1985, (in the apartment building where Fyodor Dostoevsky once lived) –  The three  were part of a delegation of American witers who made a tour of the Soviet Union that year. The  delegation also included Susan Sontag, Harrison Salisbury and Louis Auchincloss.]
You all know Arthur Miller? – Death of A Salesman? The Crucible? – Marilyn’s guy! – he was born 96 years ago today. He was, aside from being a pre-eminent playwright, a tireless activist (particularly … Read More

Ginsberg and OWS continues

More Ginsberg at Occupy Wall Street imagery. Following Dylan Spoelstra in New York last week (with Reality Sandwiches), here’s “Kai C” in Oakland (with Fall of America). Allen is clearly being read, and thought about, a sane inspiration for protest, and that’s good. In that spirit, we draw your attention to William Ney’s 1988 interview (from The New Common Good). It’s been up there on the right hand side in our ” Online Interviews, Essays & Articles” listing for some time now (we draw your attention to that wealth of resources) but maybe there’s so much that it’s … Read More

Morley Markson’s Growing Up In America

We’ve sung the praises of the Internet Archive before – and we’ll do it again this weekend, as we spotlight Morley Markson’s 1986 documentary, “Growing Up In America” (or, to give it its full title, “Growing Up In America: Breathing Together, Revolution of the Electric Family”), a ’60’s profile, featuring interviews with Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, John Sinclair, Fred Hampton, Deborah Johnson, (Akua Njeri), Don Cox, William Kunstler, Timothy Leary – and Allen!
The film begins with him reading from the “Moloch” section of “Howl”, but then turns first to Jerry Rubin. … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 45

Eric Drooker‘s Moloch image graces the cover of this week’s New Yorker. With Illuminated Poems and Howl: A Graphic Novel, we’re now familiar with the iconography of the terrain. All of a sudden, it just, apparently, got more urgent. He sent in the design “almost a year ago”, according to his wife, quoted in their local paper, Berkeleyside, “but it was ruled too dark”. Now that darkness is increasingly being acknowledged. Leading off with, once again, a shout-out to the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
We continue to solicit encounters with Allen Ginsberg. Here’s a … Read More

István Eörsi (1931-2005)

[István Eörsi, Kiev Restaurant, NYC August, 1984. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Today marks the anniversary, six years on, of the death of István Eörsi, Allen’s friend, Hungarian translator, documentarian (1997’s “A Poet on The Lower East Side”), and, considerable presence in his own terms – poet, playwright and political activist (Eörsi, a student (and life-long disciple) of the philosopher Georg Lukács, was imprisoned in 1956, following his activities as part of the Hungarian uprising, and spent three-and-a-half years in jail).

A “clowning stoic” as his friend George Konrad once described him, Eörsi remained true, uncorrupted, deeply committed, … Read More

Rick Fields Radio Interview (Open Secret) 1975

[How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America . Rick Fields, Shambhala, Boston & London; 1992 (1981)]

Back to 1975, and another in our on-going series of fugitive Ginsberg interviews. This one’s with the much-missed Rick Fields, author of How The Swans Came To The Lake (A Narrative History of Buddhism in America). It’s a transcription from his radio show, Open Secret. The subject, the curious connection between Buddhism and William Carlos Williams.
RF: ..Naropa was founded in 1974 by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in order to provide an environment in which the … Read More

Allen’s Revolutionary Musings

[photo of Dylan Spoelstra at Occupy Wall Street protest by Lawrence Schwartzwald]

Following the on-going Occupy Wall Street movement, (a national movement now, it’s not just going to dissipate,”conveniently go away”), we thought it timely to post something we’ve been meaning to post for several weeks now, but hadn’t quite gotten around to – another fugitive Ginsberg interview (this one, courtesy of “Phil Blank”) – Allen on “Anarchism and Revolution”, circa 1994, from issue number one of “Drunken Boat” (note the Rimbaudian echo), an over-sized anarchist journal, edited by Max Blechman (City Lights published in 1999, Revolutionary Romanticism: A Drunken Read More