Today is William Blake‘s birthday. Next Thursday, William Blake – Apprentice and Master, a major exhibition opens at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum (through March 1, 2015). More on that exhibit here and here
Meanwhile, crunch-time for the Blake Society’s plans to try to buy Blake’s Felpham cottage. If the goal of £520,000 is not reached by today, the real-estate agency, Jackson-Stops & Staff, which is handling the sale, will put it back on the open market.
Money and the market-place (but also, and more importantly, creativity exonerated and re-discovered) – the hot news this week was obviously, (as we reported on on Sunday,) the remarkable re-emergence of the legendary “Joan Anderson letter” (that Neal Cassady sent to Jack Kerouac) – quite a discovery! , nothing less than the ur-text/inspiration for On The Road !
Here’s Lynn Neary’s basic run-down of the story in her report on NPR
Global press interest, obviously. Here, for example (and it’s just a smattering), are a few Spanish, Italian Dutch, French, and Greek reports.
John Rogers followed up his initial AP filing with a second story on Gerd Stern, “the eighty-six-year-old poet and playwright from New Jersey” wrongly considered to have been the one to have mislaid (even destroyed) the valuable correspondence. “Why did Ginsberg say Stern tossed the letter?”, Rogers asks him – “At the best he forgot that I gave it to him. At the worst he just said it to stick it to me” Stern replies. “But it doesn’t matter”, he adds, (“with a chuckle”), “Allen’s dead, Jack’s dead, Neal’s dead. But I’m still alive.”
The auction of the letter (part of the Golden Goose Press Archives, to be sold as a single lot) will take place in Calabasas, California on the 17th of December.
The catalog can now be perused here.
The European Beat Studies Conference concluded last week in Tangier (and from all accounts was a great success), here’s a photo by Michael Kellner of four of the ne’er-do-wells /participants – Oliver Harris, Eric Anderson, Regina Weinreich, and Greg Bevan.
The focus this year was Morocco – the Beats in Morocco. See Sana Guessous here (en francais) for a brief basic primer.
The Burroughs Centennial – Opening at the October Gallery in London on Thursday – William S Burroughs Can You All Hear Me?, “an exhibition of his art including rarely-displayed pieces”. “The show will (also) highlight artists who have been profoundly influenced by Burroughs’ life, including Brion Gysin, Genesis P-Orridge (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), Liliane Lijn, Shezad Dawood, Cerith Wyn Evans and Thomas Ashcraft.”
et aussi à Aix-en-Provence
Sad to have to note the passing of Coffee House Press impresario, Allan Kornblum (from complications from leukemia) this past Sunday, at his home in St.Paul, Minnesota. Friend of the poets, friend of poetry, poet, editor, publisher (of several of our friends here), dedicated and devoted spirit.
Among his numerous books, as Mary Ann Grossman’s obituary notice points out, was a small pamphlet by Allen – Honorable Courtship (from the Author’s Journals, January 1-15, 1955, Wood Engravings by Dean Bornstein, Edited by Gordon Ball), from 1993, as part of his ” Coffee House Expresso Editions”).
An obituary notice in the LA Times may be read here