Ginsberg-Ram Dass Weekend – 2

The Ram Dass/Allen Ginsberg conversation continues. For the first part of this interview see here

RD: Do you think that America is still, in a way, (at the) forefront, in terms of bringing together what the ‘Sixties, in terms of the consciousness that comes out of the shifts in time and space and the shifts about reality and all that, do you think you feel it’s still a kind of a viable growth these days?
AG: Yeah Because. I think so these days because America’s also in the forefront in the destruction of nature, in the development of … Read More

Ginsberg-Ram Dass Weekend – 1

Ram Dass and Allen in conversation in the early 1980’s discuss the ‘Sixties and lessons learnt – the dangers of polarization, the challenges in breaking out from social norms. This transcript will be presented (via seven short videos) in two parts. The first today, the second, concluding part, tomorrow. 

AG: I did get a reputation of being a wild-eyed Beatnik, so I thought it would be funny to just (put on a suit)
RD: But I think you were a wild-eyed Beatnik, even from your intellect, even then
AG: Why, thank you!
Well I don’t know if you should … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 178


Two weeks since the last “Round-Up”, so let’s get right down to it… Not-to-be-missed – Distant Neighbors, the Selected Letters between Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, just published by Counterpoint. Watch the video of the two together, in conversation, at the recent (2014)  Festival of  Faiths in Louisville, Kentucky (moderated by publisher, Jack Shoemaker).  There’ll be conversing again on June 27 in Santa Rosa. An interview with Gary Snyder on “Buddhism, Beat Poetry and Environmentalism” may be accessed here Jack Kerouac‘s notebooks –  Joshua Rothman at The New Yorker reminded us of … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 62 – (Kurt Schwitters – 1)

[Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) performing his “Ursonate”, London. 1944 – photograph(s) by Ernst Schwitters]  

AG: (Kurt) Schwitters also, (listed under the Russian section [sic – of the classroom anthology]), an inheritor of Dada and the version of Futurism, (the) breakthrough into modernity that took place in Central Europe. Schwitters – 1887-1948, for those of you who have the anthology. He has a poem called “Priimiitittiii“. I’ll do it once, and then maybe those who have the text can do it with me. Anybody find it? Schwitters? – it’s in the French section. Student (CC): French, oh you said … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 61 – (Michael McClure)


                                           GOOOOOOR! GOOOOOOOOOO! 


        Student: I want to mention that Michael McClure has created something called  a Grahh language.. AG: Yeah, beast language. Student: (It’s in) Ghost Tantras. AG: Ghost Tantras, yeah. Student:  ..which is, all the way, what is it, ninety-nine? AG: Ninety-nine poems, or so [ninety-nine]. He was inspired by listening to the lions in the San Francisco Zoo, and listening to whale sounds and coyote

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Kousa Dogwood 2014




It’s an annual Allen Ginsberg tradition – it’s the flowering kousa dogwood, planted in his honor, by friends and supporters at the St Mark’s Church (his “church” – home to the venerable St Mark’s Poetry Project – (“The Poetry Project burns like red hot coal in New York’s snow”, Allen once wrote) – and flowering each year, right around this time (perfect natural timing) on his birthday – although this year it’s been a pretty tough winter/an alarmingly late spring – (notwithstanding, you can still see those little white flowers brazenly peeking out). Check in with … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday

[Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)]

Irwin Allen Ginsberg in Newark, New Jersey, June 3, 1926, Allen would have been 88 years old today. Happy Birthday, Allen!  Happy Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday, everyone. In celebration of an extraordinary life (and an exemplary death), we feature today Colin Still‘s masterly 1997 documentary No More To Say & Nothing To Weep For, originally commissioned by Channel 4 in England, and originally intended as a wider, more substantial profile (it was tragically cut short, or rather, re-envisioned, by Allen’s diagnosis of liver cancer, an event that took place just as the crew had arrived in … Read More

More Peter Orlovsky – (A Life In Words)


The St Marks Poetry Project tonight (8 o’clock) sees the book-launch for Peter Orlovsky‘s A Life In Words (we’ve spoken already of the book here, citing some of the poems, here’s a few (just a few) of the never-before-seen journal-entries Readers from the book, alongside editor, Bill Morgan, will include, Ed Sanders, Steven Taylor, Rosebud Felieu-Pettet and Hettie Jones

On June 18, there’ll be a celebration of the book at City Lights in San Francisco, accompanying Bill Morgan on that occasion will be Joanne Kyger and Michael McClure. 

There’ll also be a book event on June Read More