Expansive Poetics – 113 (Marsden Hartley 2 & Flowers)

AG: The first poem that we have at the beginning of the American section of the anthology (except for (Walt) Whitman), the first one that we got to put in there is a direct straightforward description of Lewiston, Maine ((Marsden) Hartley’s home-town) and a poem about Lewiston, Maine. He just realized one day as a big painter in New York he could go back and write about Lewiston, Maine, and not have to be ashamed of it, because that was a fit subject-matter.

And that was exactly what Alfred Stieglitz would cream over, because it was … Read More

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen and Allen Ginsberg – “An encounter with Leonard Cohen after a poetry reading at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. c.1988 – “Cohen was in the audience and Allen was in the lobby signing books after the show. They couldn’t stop talking” – Photograph courtesy Frank Beacham

Leonard Cohens birthday today. He’s 80 years old. Robert Sward: You once said that “the angels of mercy are other people”. What does that mean? And what is the relationship between angels and language?

Leonard Cohen: I don’t know. One of the things I always liked about the early Beatnik … Read More

Joni Mitchell

[Joni Mitchell and Allen Ginsberg on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour, 1975 (from Sam Shepherd’s Rolling Thunder Logbook (1977)]

It was Allen, of course, who introduced Joni Mitchell to his “friend of spirit”, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. 

She came late to the rolling cavalcade

but stayed to the end.

As she candidly confesses (in Readers Digest of all places!):

[Chogyam Trungpa – painted by Joni Mitchell]

“… I went on Rolling Thunder and they asked me how I wanted to be paid, and I ran away to join the circus: Clowns used to get paid in wine — pay me … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 190

We Are Continually Exposed To The Flashbulb of Death” – The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg 1953-1996 continues at the University of Toronto Art Center. Barbara Fischer, the director of the Center discusses the exhibition and the extraordinary trove of photos – here. The William Blake Trust is trying to save William Blake’s cottage and are launching, starting today, an on-line crowdfunding campaign. Read more about this very worthy cause here. and here.       We have until Halloween (the 31st of October)  

Cottage in Blake's Milton


And more poets and fund-raising projects – Lawrence Ferlinghettiin San Francisco’s North … Read More

Cross Worlds


“Transcultural Poetics”, global action, cross-cultural activity, is something we’re very much in support of here. Transcultural Poetics, the new anthology from Coffee House Press, drawing from the wealth of material available in the archives of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa is thus a timely, welcome and inspiring collection. It celebrates, as the publishers declare, “the leap, the engaged jolt of creation and recognition that cultural hybrids and transcultural alliances and associations spark”. “In essays, conversations, and Socratic raps, it celebrates, interrogates, and annotates the vital work poets perform when they write across borders”. … Read More

William Carlos Williams’ Birthday


September 17 is William Carlos Williams birthday. Williams has been featured pretty extensively on this blog (not the least as the focus of a whole lecture series by Allen –    “Mind, Mouth and Page” – here’s the first episode.   We cordially invite you to follow along with the entire lecture series  (check out, for just a few examples, here, here and here)

Here’s a few of the other Williams postings that you might have missed:  – … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 112 (Albert Pinkham Ryder)

[Alfred Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917) – The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse) – oil on canvas – 70.5cm x 90cm – (1896-1908) courtesy the Cleveland Museum of Art]

AG: There’s one painting in here I’m looking for. It’s a painting of (Albert) Pinkham Ryder, which is really uncanny. Anybody know Ryder? Death on a Pale Horse?, a Rembrandtian painting, dark-brown, black-ish, of a horse riding around a race-track, with a skeleton with a scythe on top of the horse, going around the cycle. So this is the painter of that, who lived on Fourteenth

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Expansive Poetics – 111 (Marsden Hartley)

AG: Marsden Hartley…it was recommended that I should look at his poetry also, because I was looking for examples of free-form poetry in English, and Marsden Hartley was one of the first, and one of the most loose relaxed and straightforward natural poets that ever wrote in this form. His form is a little bit..it’s one of the rare examples of real “free” verse, where the guy is writing very directly and straightforwardly with an eye on the object. Doing what (William Carlos) Williams and (Ezra) Pound and (Charles) Reznikoff always wanted to do, but he was a painter

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William Burroughs on Jack Kerouac at the 1982 Naropa Conference


[“But Jack as I warned you back in 1945, if you keep going back to live with ‘Memére’ you’ll get wound tighter & tighter in her apron strings till an old man you can’t escape…” William S. Burroughs acting the André Gidian sophisticate camping lecturing the earnest All-American Thos.Wolfean youth Jack Kerouac listening soberly dead-pan to “The most intelligent man in America” for a funny second’s charade in the living room 206 East 7th Street, Apartment 16, New York, one evening Fall 1953. (AG Caption) photo c. Allen Ginsberg]

William Burroughs – It’s still the William S Burroughs CentennialRead More