Expansive Poetics – 75 (Nikolay Klyuev)

[Nikolay Klyuev (1884-1937)]

August 4, 1981 Naropa Institute, Allen continues his lecture(s) on Expansive Poetics

AG: Well, I thought this time to cover somebody that we had mentioned before, which (is Sergei) Esenin, and to cover Esenin, we also have to cover a little bit of (Nikolay) Klyuev. Those of you who are in Peter (Orlovsky)’s class have heard a lot of Klyuev, but a lot of you haven’t been in that class. So I just want to touch on him. He was a friend of Esenin. [to Peter Orlovsky] – can you pick up on … Read More

Interview in Galway 1995 – Getting to Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg in Ireland –  (Allen filmed in Galway, when he was over for the Cúirt Literary Festival, in 1995).  Local “character”, Mark Kennedy (of Streetcorner Productions) recently put up on You Tube a curious half-hour documentary (from 2007), perhaps more revealing of him than it is about Allen, but we thought, nonetheless, we would share. “Getting To Ginsberg” is the title, focusing, as it does on the frisson – a tired and harrassed Allen is, at one point, quite explicitly, telling Kennedy “You’re being irritating”..”You taking advantage of me to talk about yourself on..camera, and then talk … Read More

Saturday July 28 – Gay Pride


Gay Pride weekend this weekend. We begin by drawing your attention to this important posting.

We celebrate today with Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg’s 1984 documentary, Before Stonewall.  (Allen and poet Audre Lorde are among those featured).

Also hats-off to Kate Davis and David Hellbroner‘s 2010 doc, Stonewall Uprising (based on David Carter‘s exhaustive research).

45 years on from Stonewall – the pivotal moment in America for the establishmen of gay civil rights.


Here’s a profile of Allen on Dutch tv  ( from OUTtv):

Here’s the gay-themed “Jimmy Berman” (Gay Lib Rag)”… Read More

Allen in the ‘Sixties – Portland State College Readings

[Allen Ginsberg, April 23, 1969, at Portland State College – Photograph from Viking (PSU Yearbook, 1968-69), courtesy Portland State University Library’s Special Collection]

The big news last week, the discovery, initially, by Portland State University archivist, Christine Paschild, (with additional assistance by PSU library technician Carolee Harrison) of a remarkable collection of reel-to-reel audio tapes (275 hours, now transfered to digital format and made publicly available) – the historic and extraordinary Oregon Public Speakers Collection, featuring the voices of such singular cultural (and counter-cultural) figures as Robert F Kennedy, Carl Sagan, Linus Pauling, Stokely Carmichael, … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 74 – (Mandelstam And Stalin)

[Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) & Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938)]

[Prisoners mining gold at Kolyma, the most notorious Gulag camp in extreme northeastern Siberia – from the 1934 documentary film, Kolyma, courtesy the Central Russian Film and Photo Archives]

AG: The next poem, I think I mentioned before. I’ll read you.. I have only one version here but I’ll read you another also. This is a celebrated poem which got him in trouble, when it was circulated around. It was the attack on Stalin

Мы живем, под собою не чуя страны, Наши речи за десять шагов не слышны, А где хватит на … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 73 (Mandelstam – Late Poems)

[Statue of Osip Mandelstam (1891-1838)  (by Lazar Gadayev (1938-2008)), erected 2008, in Voronezh, Russia]

AG: Ah, what else is here? Has anybody read through this, the (Osip) Mandelstam section (in the Expansive Poetics anthology)? I won’t go through it but I recommend you read the Unknown Soldier poem which begins it [editorial note – that is, the section of the Unknown Soldier poems that Allen has selected for his anthology]. There are parallel translations. Let’s see if there’s anything good in that. The end is interesting (as if from a soldier – but it’s him). It’s his own … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 71 (1962 – Khruschev at the Manege Exhibition)

[Nikita Khruschev at the Moscow Union of Artists 30th Anniversary Exhibition at the Manege, Moscow, December 1, 1962]

AG: “The way of the grave straightens a hunchback” – this is a Russian proverb actually – “Only a grave can straighten a hunchback” – which the late Nikita S Khrushchev made internationally famous – [to Student] – Do you know about that, Ivana [sic]? – by quoting it to the assembled writers and artists at the Manege Exhibit in 1961 (1962) – Does anybody know about that scene? – Khruschev went to an exhibition of modern Soviet painting in 1962. In … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 70 ( Osip Mandelstam)

Allen Ginsberg’s class, July 1980 on Expansive Poetics (Russian Expansive Poetics) continues. Today’s episode begins with some confusion with the text book, before Allen (and Peter) get down to discussing the text.

AG: (Osip) Mandelstam, then, has these texts here. For those of you who have the anthology you might move to that. He’s 1891 [the anthology was ordered in terms of the individual date of each poet’s birth] – a funny poem on the unknown soldier, which is at the beginning.. Student: (What number?) AG: Number 362. I’m just starting at random in certain aspects with certain poems. So … Read More

Howl – Live At The Knitting Factory 1995

We’ve featured several versions on The Allen Ginsberg Project of Allen reading from his landmark poem, “Howl” (most recently, this one, reading with the Kronos Quartet (featuring a setting by the late Lee Hyla) , but also this one, Allen’s 1994 reading as a benefit for Jewel Heart) – here’s another, the 1995 reading at The Knitting Factory in New York City

For the first three parts of the poem, click here. For “Footnote to Howl” see here

This recording is also available on the Harper Audio/Caedmon 2004 Allen Ginsberg CD Poetry Collection and the Random … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 180

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Wednesday-night saw the launch in San Francisco of Peter Orlovsky – A Life In Words – Intimate Chronicles of A Beat Writer.  Next stop, Boulder, Colorado.


Frank O’Hara, whose poems, Allen memorably wrote, “taught me to really see New York for the first time” (“like having Catullus change your view of the Forum in Rome” (!)) is currently being feted by City Lights, with a brand-new, expanded, … Read More