Salem State Beat Treasures Resurface

[Allen Ginsberg, April 5, 1973, at Salem State College, via Salem State Archives flickr]
Last year, you may recall, we reported on a wonderful trove of Beat materials on-line, courtesy of Salem State College – the audio (and video) archives from their April 1973 Jack Kerouac Symposium, organized by John McHale (this was the very first academic conference on Kerouac, following his death in 1969). The conference featured Allen, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, John Clellon Holmes (all, notably, “characters”, featured in Kerouac’s books), along with then-Kerouac-biographer, Aaron Latham, Lowell acquaintance, Professor Charles Jarvis, and Northport, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 67


Another Ginsberg “tat” (we know how you love these!) to lead off – a “strophe” (or part of a strophe) from “Howl” (did you know that “Howl” was originally called “Strophes”?) – “America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe”..”I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they’re all different sexes”.

& here‘s a tattoo from that poem – Ginsberg’s “America”.
Tom Sturridge, oh Tom Sturridge! We have to confess we were a little underwhelmed when they released the Tom-Sturridge-as-Allen On The Read More

Bernard Kops and The International Times Archive


Publication of Bernard Kops’ lucid memoir/poem, On Meeting Allen Ginsberg In Tel Aviv 1961, in the current newly-reconstituted, digitalized, cyber-friendly, International Times, set us to wondering about that bastion of “the underground”, (as it was once deemed) – “IT” – England’s provocative and pioneering “alternative newspaper” (now gloriously accessible, its extensive archives – every single issue! – freely available, on-line. For hours of nostalgic browsing, click here).
The issue shown above is reasonably late (dating from 1973) and features the bulk of what would subsequently be published by Donald M Allen’s Grey Fox Press as the … Read More

William Blake Class – 12 (Urizen concludes)

Well, okay, so what is it all finally? Let’s see, Urizen is wandering through space, exploring his dens, striding over the cities, creating a cold shadow – “Like a spider’s web, moist, cold, and dim,/Drawing out from his sorrowing soul” – walking over the cities in sorrow – “..a web dark and cold throughout all/The tormented element stretched..”, “(And the web is female in embryo./ None could break the web – no wings of fire,/ So twisted the cords, and so knotted/The meshes, twisted like to the human brain/ And all called it The Net of Religion.” – (compare this … Read More

William Blake Class – 11 (Urizen continues)

From “The Book of Urizen” (continues). “Cold he wandered on high, over their cities” – (See) Plate 27B to see Urizen “wandering..over their cities”, maybe. Page 209. In a great night darkness sky, pushing the ball of Reason, that ball of fire, in front of him. In the colored illustrations (page 209 of the Illustrated book), I think that’s Urizen “wandering over the(ir) cities”.. – “In weeping and pain and woe/And wherever he wandered in sorrow/ Upon the aged heavens/ A cold shadow followed behind him/Like a spider’s web, moist, cold and dim,/Drawing out from his sorrowing soul,/The dungeon-like heaven … Read More

Happy Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat honcho, head of City Lights, turns 93 today! Happy Birthday, Lawrence! – A miscellany of links: Here‘s Lawrence reading in 2005 for the University of California at Berkeley. Here‘s a reading (in four parts) at DG Wills wonderful bookstore in San Diego from that same year (here, here, here and here). Here‘s Amy Goodman’s interview with him in 2007 for Democracy Now!. Here‘s an interview on Italian television the following year (contrast Lawrence’s Italian with his French (in the interview clip above, recorded many years … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 66

[Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg, and Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, on location, filming in the streets of Brooklyn, March 19 2012 – photo courtesy Huffington Post]

“The Beat Goes On” -oh no! oh yes, but, of course, someone just hadda use that as their headline! – Well, the orgy of press-coverage of Daniel Radcliffe donning tortoise-shell specs, tweed jacket, scarf, and all, to commence playing the role of Allen in the forthcoming (2013) John Krokidas movie Kill Your Darlings has left us…well (it has to be confessed) just a teensy bit..nauseous. “Daniel Radcliffe channels his inner geek for

Read More

William Blake Class – 10 (Urizen continues)

[Allen, recapitulates from previous class]: I think we were somewhere around Chapter VII of (The Book of) Urizen. Orc has been born, the babe Orc, falling from Heaven on page 202 of the Illuminated works (and on page 203, we had Los, now looking more like Urizen, chains growing out of his body, staring down jealously at revolutionary young Orc, Urizen, at this point, is all wakened up, and by the cries – “The dead heard the voice of the child,/And began to wake from sleep,/All things heard the voice of the child,/And began to waken to … Read More

William Blake Class – 9 (Urizen continues)

After our brief Daniel Radcliffe pause..
Allen on Blake continues – ( on The Book of Urizen) – “Chapter V – Actually, we’ve been going so slow on this, but I really wanted to get it down so that everybody saw how there was an apparent repetition in here. Apparently, he’s going through it from different angels – one from Los‘ angle, one from (a) Urizonic angle, one from the Eternals angle – “In terrors Los shrunk from his task./ His great hammer fell from hid hand;/ His fires beheld and sickening/ Hid their strong limbs in smoke./ … Read More