Walt Whitman’s Birthday

Image 013

[Walt Whitman, 1863 – Photograph by Alexander Gardner  – Alderman Library, University of Virginia]  

[Leaves of Grass, 1855 – courtesy The Walt Whitman Archive]

Walt Whitman‘s Birthday Today.  We celebrate with an eager young Whitmaniac, Steve Roggenbuck reading, as his You Tube tape boldly announces, “one hour and fifteen minutes of Walt Whitman’s poetry” – “I read the entire text of  “i love you, before long i die – a walt whitman mixtape”  “This is all my favorite Walt Whitman in one book. Sometimes it’s cut up in ways that other Whitman books wouldn’t cut it up. I … Read More

Peter Orlovsky Parinirvana



[Peter Orlovsky, portrait for official documents, 1963, India. Photo Courtesy of the Peter Orlovsky Archive, University of Texas]


May 30 is Peter Orlovsky‘s Parinirvana. See our last year’s posting in celebration of him – here.

See our transcription of his 1975 Naropa class – (Poets Who Have Influenced Me”) 

And now it’s our pleasure to announce from Paradigm Publishers a new book, a posthumous gathering – Peter Orlovsky – A Life In Words – Intimate Chronicles of a Beat Writer – edited and introduced – expertly compiled – by Beat scholar, Bill Morgan (with a … Read More

Harry Smith – Early Abstractions

[Harry Smith (1923-1991), at The Chelsea Hotel,  aged 52]  



Harry Smith’s Early Abstractions (1946-1957), in honor of what would have been his 91st birthday. Even in their severely-reduced You Tube format, feast on his visionary genius.  Other Harry Smith postings on the Allen Ginsberg Project include here, here, here, here and here upcoming Harry news – Saturday June 14 in Woodstock (an “all-star line-up”, like they say).

Harry Smith Anthology To Benefit HUNGRY FOR MUSIC live and, forthcoming, in the Fall, Raymond Foye‘s edited and notated Harry Smith Naropa lectures (with an afterword by Charles Stein) as a CD booklet audio project (from the … Read More

Some 1981 Naropa Planning

[Michael Brownstein]

[Bobbie-Louise Hawkins]

[Merrill Gilfillan]  

[Jack Kerouac]

AG:… (Wednesday night there) will be (a) reading with Michael Brownstein Student:  Seven p.m. in the library – free AG: And then..tomorrow..that’s free. Then tomorrow night, it’ll be Bobbie Louise Hawkins Student: Bobbie Louise Hawkins AG: Bobbie Louise Hawkins, who’s been teaching here, whose racy dialogue is really interesting. She’s a good reader. She’s really interesting to hear – And Merrill Gilfillan. Does anybody know much about him? Peter Orlovsky: She [sic]’s not coming. I think they got a letter saying she can’t come, didn’t they? AG: He. No, MerrillRead More

Louis Ferdinand Celine (1894 -1961)


  [Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961)]

Today is the birthday of Louis-Ferdinand Céline, born in Courbevoie, France, 120 years ago, author of Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit), “the first genius international beat twentieth-century picaresque novel written in modern classical personal comedy prose “, according to Allen.

“Have you read Louis Ferdinand Céline? – he’s translated into English from French – Celine vomits Rasberries. He wrote the most Chaplin-esque prose in Europe and he has a bitter mean sad ugly eternal comic soul enough to make you cry..” (Peter Orlovsky)  “I think (Henry) Read More

Expansive Poetry – 60 (More Khlebnikov – 5 – (A Group Reading)

AG: So now, as part of our Russian program, I wanted to continue with a little more Khlebnikov, with the poem about laughter, which Richard Poe (sic) can pronounce (for us) in Russian. The text is on the first page of Khlebnikov in our anthologies, for those of you who have it. [to Richard Poe] – Can you stand up to do it, though. And roar it, you know. Student [Richard Poe]: Roar it? AG: Yeah. Part of the elocution is roaring. Richard Poe reads Khlebnikov’s poem in Russian

Заклятие смехом
О, рассмейтесь, смехачи! О, засмейтесь, смехачи! Что смеются … Read More

Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

Main Photograph

[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, Edson Cemetery,  Lowell, Massachusetts, 1975, at the site of Jack Kerouac‘s grave – Photograph by Ken Regan]

January 27 1978
Dear Bob

Saw your movie [Renaldo and Clara] twice at (the) Waverly Theatre (New York City)…and you have no idea how breathlessly great your movie is, nor have you had a rare glimpse of how the packed theater was bursting with applause from their hands and mouths … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 177

[Allen Ginsberg – c.1989 – Photograph by Marc Geller]

Next weekend (next Sunday, June 1st) in New York City, Elodie Lauten‘s Ginsberg opera, Waking In New York, will be given a rare in situ public performance. Prior to that (Friday May 30) the opera will be recorded and simulcast from the National Opera America Center, after which it will be made freely available on line. “Waking In New York is very special piece”, Lauten notes. “It started when I approached Allen Ginsberg about a libretto..I wanted a piece about New York and he selected a set … Read More

More Khlebnikov – 4 (Manifesto of the Presidents of the Terrestrial Globe)


[Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922)]

AG: What else might we find here [in this Khlebnikov book]. Well, that’s it for the moment, I think. I had some others that.. I’ll need the book back if you can pass it around back. The theory of some of the sound ideas was to fuse the Slavic words together (as his commentators have noted) and try to make a universal language, which was what he was interested in. So he was interested in universal mind, universal language, poets as universal legislators of the world, [editorial note – Allen is alluding here to

Read More

Robert Creeley’s Birthday

Gloria Graham photograph of Robert Creeley

 [Robert Creeley in Maine, August 2004 – Photograph by Gloria Graham]

Robert Creeley‘s birthday today. Here’s some more selections from the recently-published Selected Letters of Robert Creeley


Feb 6 1957, Albuquerque, New Mexico –  “Dear Allen, I’m ashamed to say, nothing much at all has been the matter, i.e. I’ve wanted to and have thought to write often – and have had you and Jack (Kerouac) and Peter (Orlovsky) much in mind if that is not pompous to say. Over the time I had off at Xmas, I went to Mexico,and caught up with Mitch & … Read More