Anselm Hollo (1934-2013)

[Anselm Hollo in 2009 and in 2012 – photos by Tom Raworth]

(Anselm Hollo 1934-2013)

Sad news – our dear dear friend and brother, Anselm Hollo died this morning, following a protracted fight against a persistent meningioma and resultant complications. He was 78. More appreciations (many more appreciations) to follow.

Our birthday celebration of some of his remarkable achievements can be found here.… Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 31 (Reading List – 2) (Melville)

[Herman Melville (1819-1891)]

Allen’s July 1976 reading list continues


AG: Herman Melville. I don’t know what anthologies carry his poetry. This is [Allen displays a copy of Melville’s Collected Poems] his poetry. He is a great poet. Very cranky weird language, like “there is a thick coal black angel..”, no, “There is a coal-black Angel/with a thick Afric lip..” He’s describing a cannon overlooking Vicksburg. “There is a coal black angel with a thick Afric lip.” – That’s where I get my”Afric” (or that’s where I get a certain sound). That’s where (Jack) Kerouac got … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 30 (Reading List – 1) (Dorn,Smart,Bunting Wieners)

Allen’s 1976 Spontaneous Poetics Summer lectures continue with this, his fifth lecture, dated June 18, 1976. He continues from his earlier classes on the ballad form, but in this class begins by sketching out a brief bibliography, offering suggestions for reading. He consistently refers students to the then-growing Naropa Institute library. Ed Dorn, Christopher Smart, Basil Bunting and John Wieners are the first of a number of figures that he mentions.

AG (begins, distributing a leaflet with various writers names) : There’s something by everybody, here in the library. So it’s a reading-list, or it’s a list of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 110



A selection of videos are now up from Jan 16th’s NYC Housing Works Ginsberg Recordings First Blues launch. Hettie Jones (filmed here by Norman Savitt), after a little autobiographical reflection, reads “Broken Bone Blues”Ambrose Bye (accompanied by Devon Waldman – and Aliah Rosenthal on cello) performs Allen’s immortal “Gospel Noble Truths”Andy Clausen gives a rousing (as ever) reading of the “Capitol Air” lyrics, David Amram (recalls Allen and Bob Dylan and Allen’s first forays into music – he also performs his own “My Buddha Angel of Cheng Du”, accompanying himself on guitar, pennywhistles, and
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Nanao Sakaki and Allen Ginsberg – Birdbrain in Japan

Two of our more popular postings – on the great Japanese poet, Nanao Sakaki – and on Allen’s poem, “Birdbrain” – coalesce here with this lively recording of the two of them reading it (that poem) together, (Allen, the English, Nanao, the Japanese), tweaking it with contemporaneous Japanese references. The occasion is, October 30, 1988, a major anti-nuclear protest march on Kansai Electric‘s head office in Osaka. Allen was visiting Japan. The reading took place at Nakanoshima Koen, behind Osaka City Hall, and was filmed, edited, and (we thank him for it!) uploaded by Ken Rodgers.

How Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 29

[Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) via the National Portrait Gallery, London]

AG: So, anyway, the reason I got off into quantity was.. [back to Sir Walter Ralegh’s “The Lie” – Allen sings, to harmonium accompaniment, the first two stanzas of the poem – “Go Soul, the body’s guest,/ Upon a thankless errand/ Fear not to touch the best;/ The truth shall be thy warrant..”] – I guess you could do it that way, easy enough. It was something relevant to another conversation several days ago (about a poet) of this era, Sir Philip Sidney. Some students were asking if … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 28 (Zukofsky)


[Louis Zukofsky (1904-1978)]

Student: Allen, what about (Louis) Zukofsky‘s metrics? In A? What was that? Was that quantative measure?

AG: Well, he was aware of that, sure. I (frankly) don’t know enough about him to reach him well (but) I’ll bring some in and we can sound some aloud..

Student: Allen?

AG: ..later on.

Student: I’ve been studying that book and working … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 27

[Walter Ralegh (1554-1618) aged 34 – portrait via National Portrait Gallery]

Allen’s Spontaneous Poetry (Ballads) lectures, given at the Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, in July and August of 1976, continue. This particular section continues the June 16 class.

AG:  “The Lie” by Sir Walter Ralegh – Moving now from ballad to song, staying around the same time. We’re still before and after Shakespeare. There are a number of classical pieces of rhythm and imagery that those of you who are interested in poetry  just as beaming mind-eye movies should know. And those of you who are writing

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Kill Your Darlings – First Reviews

The first reviews of John Krokidas’ “Kill Your Darlings” (“Harry Potter” plays Allen Ginsberg) are in (and they’re pleasingly enthusiastic). Here’s David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter – “This invigoratingly textured jazz riff – spliced with hallucinogenic interludes, introspective detours and moments of romantic reverie explores a formative period in Ginsberg’s life. He’s not quite the center of this story, but Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) provides its overriding point of view.” He goes on – “Krokidas and co-screenwriter Austin Bunn are less interested in the output than in the birth of the poet, at least where his first … Read More