Happy Birthday Philip Whalen and Michael McClure

What would have been Philip Whalen‘s ninety-first birthday (grand old sensei, venerable master) – celebrated today. We await with eagerness David Schneider‘s long-in-the-making definitive biography (from the University of California) due out next year (tho’ the cover may already be glimpsed – see above – and some advance selections from the book may be read here) Check out also our earlier posts on Philip on The Allen Ginsberg Project here, here – and also (Philip reading) here

It also happens that Phil shares a birthday with another friend of ours (and friend of his) still happily … Read More

Gerd Stern – 2

Gerd Stern

[Gerd Stern]

Gerd Stern‘s vivid memories – from  From Beat Scene Poet to Psychedelic Multimedia Artist 1948-1978. The complete text is available on-line from the University of California  


“So I came and saw him [my father], and he dragged me to my uncle the doctor. My uncle supposedly discovered I had some kind of a problem with my kidneys. They put me into  the hospital. After the hospital, they made me go see a psychiatrist who was a friend of  my uncle. The psychiatrist says to me, “Look, I can’t help you because your father can’t afford to pay … Read More

Gerd Stern – 1

Gerd Stern – Here’s an interview with the truly extraordinary Gerd Stern – Gerd Stern, who, allegedly lost that legendary Neal Cassady manuscript, Gerd Stern, artist, poet and multi-media visionary, at eighty-six years old – what remarkable stories he has to tell!  – his oral history, From Beat Scene Poet to Psychedelic Multimedia Artist 1948-1978  was  published, and is available on line from University of California, Berkeley. We’ll be quoting, tomorrow, salient paragraphs from it – But first, this. (Those with an interest in modern music should, also, on no account, miss this – Stern’s vivid first-hand memories of

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 193


[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Marc Geller]

 A wonderful Ginsberg issue (for all of you who read Portuguese – and even those of you don’t, (including several pictures of Allen that we’d, frankly, never seen before) -Claudio Willer Cesar Kiraly, Evaldo Gondim, among others. For more (including an on-line viewing of the journal), see here

 Images Indelible-Allen-Ginsberg-Jack-Kerouac-Allen-Ginsberg-2


of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996), Allen’s photography show, continues at the University of Toronto Art Center – Here‘s Associate Editor of Canadian Art, David Balzer with a video review of the
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Expansive Poetics – 126 (Sacco and Vanzetti)


AG: Bartelomeo Vanzetti – has anybody read..ever heard (of) him?  – Bartelomo Vanzetti?   Sacco and Vanzetti? Has anybody notheard of Sacco and Vanzetti? Did you hear of Sacco and Vanzetti? – ok, they were a bunch of anarchists (like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, except.. 

Student: Except they went deeper..
AG: ..they were Italian fish-peddlers (except they were sort of cultural heroes of their day).  – What’s the story do you remember? Student: They were accused of anarchist bombing in a… I don’t even know if the bombs went off, but they became symbols, and there’s a … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 125 (Jaime de Angulo)

[Jaime d’Angulo (1887-1950)]

[AG:  Onward!..  Skipping over (Ezra) Pound  (except one little thing. because we don’t have much (time)… I want to skip over Pound – we’ll come back to Pound)…]

AG: Jaime d’Angulo (1887), was a friend of Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound and a great crank, a hero… Gary Snyder’s hero. Jaime d’Angulo is Gary Snyder’s hero. If you want to know Snyder’s origins, you go to Jaime d’Angelo. D’Angulo was born in Spain and educated in Switzerland, and went to the Wild West and worked as a cowboy, and was a great philologist and linguist, and … Read More

E.E.Cummings (1894-1962)

[E.E.Cummings (1894-1962)]

The poet E.E. Cummings was born on this day, October 14 December 20, 1956 – Allen Ginsberg, writing  from Paterson, New Jersey
“Dear Mr Cummings,
Came to your door. You were out. I am writing , will be in NY for a month, then leave for Europe with 2 other poets – Jack Kerouac and Gregory Corso. Came from San Francisco where we held big crazy drunken poetry readings. I sent you my book, Howl, from there, to 4 Patchin Place, did you get it, did you read it? Have manuscript of Corso, Kerouac, (Gary) Read More

Expansive Poetics – 124 (William Carlos Williams – To Elsie, Saxifrage & The Clouds)

[William Carlos Williams ( 1883-1963)]

William Carlos Williamswe’ve done a lot, on and off,  in and out – everybody knows Williams – does everybody know some Williams?  Is there anybody here  who has not read any Williams? …Well..actually, lets just do “To Elsie”( “The pure products of America go crazy”) because that was a..that was my choice for “heroic poem” of Williams.  When I had to think of one poem of Williams that was heroic Americana, national heroics – Do you know that one at all? – “The pure products of America go crazy”) – It’s great. It’s

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Lenny Bruce’s Birthday

Lenny Bruce

[Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)]

It’s Lenny Bruce‘s birthday today. Sending a shout-out to Lenny Bruce. Here’s classic footage of him in performance

this, from the transcript of the 1968 William Buckley show:
AG: ..all the artists in New York got together and put out a big petition…
WB: To which saying?
AG:  ..saying Lenny Bruce should be protected, to which the police did not yield, to which the district attorney did not yield, to which the lower courts did not yield, to which nobody yielded for yearrs and years until the poor man was dead!
WB: Well, you’re suggesting
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Expansive Poetics – 123 (Wallace Stevens)

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

[Wallace Stevens ( 1879-1955)]

AG: Wallace Stevens is a great poet, but metrically not that interesting, I don’t think, philosophically interesting, so as a tiny little sample of Wallace Stevens, I just took one very late poem (from The Rock), when he was an old man – he was a friend of (William Carlos) Williams and he wrote the introduction to Williams’ first book…first Collected Poems  [Collected Poems, 1921-1931, published by the Objectivist Press in 1934]. –  called “Lebensweisheitspielerei”  – does anybody know German? – “Lebensweisheitspielerei”  Student: Life..Life…”Leben” is life and “Spiel” is play. AG: So “Weisheit” ? … Read More