Friday Weekly Round-Up – 89

It’s Charles Reznikoff’s birthday today. We’ve been featuring him recently, see here, here, here and here.. and our last year’s birthday celebration here . Allen presents here his NAROPA notes, “Suggestions for Readings in Charles Reznikoff…according to hardness, objectivity, vividness – selected epiphanies.”
September 4th, Tuesday! (only 4 days away!) – Countdown to the first release on Ginsberg Recordings! “Ashes and Blues”, the first release from a digitalized “Holy Soul Jelly Roll”, will be ready and available on that date. More information, more releases, to follow.
The Harry Smith Conference, taking place in London on
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Allen Ginsberg Doesn’t Believe in Ghosts

[2014 update – the video that accompanied this post is now no longer available}

So this delightful snippet of Ginsberg footage recently re-surfaced – Allen among his file-cabinets on East 12th Street. The tape begins in media res (Allen rifling through his things)

AG: (There’s a) – photograph with (Bob) Dylan at (Jack) Kerouac’s grave, (I’ll) see if I can find it. Here’s some photographs of the Rolling Thunder tour..let’s see, yeah, [shows Ken Regan’s photo] – This has been in the newspapers and all. Actually, this is an interesting photo if you can zero in on it. … Read More

Charlie Parker’s Birthday

[Charlie Parker (1920-1955) (with Miles Davis) in 1947, at the Three Deuces Club in New York – Photograph by William P Gottlieb – William P Gottlieb Collection, Library of Congress]

Bird’s birthday today. The Allen Ginsberg Project salutes Charlie Parker, bebop maestro, with this fine BBC documentary. Check out also our last year’s anecdotal hommage to the great saxophonist, here. [2013 update – unfortunately this video has been taken down. We’re replacing it with a four-part BBC radio documentary – here, here, here and here]… Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 43 (D.H.Lawrence – 2)

[D.H.Lawrence ( 1885-1930)]
AG: A couple more? You wanna hear some more (D.H.) Lawrence?
Students: Yeah.
Student: Allen, you and Lawrence..I was in your details.. like.. in Planet Waves (sic), or Planet News, or whatever… how much… did you find.. did you have… the sort of tendency to want to… was that all made-up?
AG: No, there’s very little made-up there (except the humor I purposefully made up, sometimes). … Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 42 (D.H.Lawrence – 1)

[D.H.Lawrence 1885-1930]
AG: So how many people here have read D.H.Lawrence ? Raise your hands if you have. Read his poetry. Raise your hands. How many have not.? Okay. Do most of you know the poem about the snake? How many have read that? Yeah..,,
(So). We got to (William Carlos) Williams, up to the point (of the) late (19)20’s. The last line I read from Williams was “More, the particular flower is blossoming..” Then I started thinking, now where else can we go beside Marsden Hartley, to look historically at who else was working beside … Read More

Happy 132 Apollinaire!

[Guillaume Apollinaire 1880-1918]

It’s Apollinaire‘s birthday today. That’s right, Apollinaire’s birthday. We’ll draw your attention to two previous posts on the great French poet – here (an over-view) and here (transcription of a 1975 Naropa class conducted by Allen). Darren Anderson’s piece for 3:AM magazine, Copywriter of the New, is also well worth a read. And here is a miscellany of images of the great man.

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Andrea Andermann’s film, “Castelporziano Ostia dei poeti”) (1981) immortalizes the chaos and extraordinary happening/event that was the Primo Festivale Internazionale dei Poeti, in 1979, the International Poetry Festival, at Castelporzia.
“This documentary was shot at a three-day celebration of poetry (a “Poets’ Festival”) at the beach of Castelporziano near Rome in the summer of 1979. Pier Paolo Pasolini was killed on this beach a few years earlier and his murder is commented on by Yevgeny Yevtushenko at the beginning of the documentary. On the first day of the event, the camera focuses on both poets and
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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 88

Allen’s attention and words of advice to young poets:
Joseph Massey received the above card in the Spring of 1993, after sending him some poems
“Dear Mr Massey, The poems are better than I wrote at your age 15. “Attack” is confusing, sounds like you cut your foot on an icicle? If so describe the situation’s details more clearly. “Crickets familiar chant from/ heavy dark grass beneath/trees silhouetted/ where water choking… flows/ Crisscross vehicle sounds/ dawn hard solid rises/ sudden lapse in blue” – all that has elements of good poem!
Read W.C.Williams (old poet) & Gregory Corso (New Directions … Read More

Beat Britain in the 1990’s

This BBC radio documentary from the early ’90’s (broadcast here, courtesy You Tube, in two parts) features an avuncular host, Ian McMillan (with a broad and delightful Barnsley accent) in search of the Beat custodians in England’s strangely bland and soul-less cultural climate. The first person that he visits is Kevin Ring, custodian of the estimable Beat Scene. Also included, the voices of Jeff Nuttall and Eric Mottram (key figures in the so-called “British Poetry Revival”), not to mention, Jim Burns (old-time Beat-o-phile), David Tipton & Dave Cunliffe (a dual interview), and Steve Sneyd.
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Encore En Français

[Jean-Jacques Lebel, with poets Jerome Rothenberg and Allen Ginsberg, at Centre Pompidou in Paris, 1994]
Allen parle en français, we trumpeted, a while ago, introducing this post (footage from 1965 of Allen speaking eloquently (allbeit briefly) about his drug experience – speaking in French! – part of Jean Michel Humea’s He! Viva Dada).
Jean-Jacques Lebel, who organized his visit on that occasion (as part of the second “Festival de la Libre Expression” (Festival of Free Expression)), re-appears (over three decades later!) here (as faithful confrère, prompter, and, when necessary, when Allen’s vocabulary occasionally fails him – translator … Read More