Huncke by Ginsberg – A Herbert Huncke Portfolio

[Herbert Huncke, photobooth, Times Square circa 1940. Ginsberg Collection]  



[above four photos: “Rare glimpse of storyteller Herbert E. Huncke, then strung out in his room Hotel Elite, N.E. corner of 8th Avenue & 51st Street diagonally opposite what was then Madison Square Garden. Saw him infrequently that season, Burroughs temporarily in town, found him mid-town to say goodbye on my way to Mexico, just before Christmas 1953. He fixed at that sink, Manhattan. (Ginsberg caption) Photos c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
[Herbert Huncke,  William & Joan Burroughs’ farm near New Waverly, Texas, July 1947. Photo: c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]  
Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Herbert Huncke – SFSU 1967


[Herbert Huncke and Allen Ginsberg – together on East 10th Street, New York City,  three years later, 1970 – Photograph by Ann Charters]

From the invaluable trove at San Francisco State University’s Poetry Center Digital Archive –  Allen Ginsberg and Herbert Huncke reading on February 7, 1967 This historic event can be heard in its entirety here Mark Linenthal (of SFSU) begins by noting upcoming events and a visit to the campus by film-maker Stan Brakhage. He then turns to the business of the evening, introducing Herbert Huncke and Allen Ginsberg. ML: “I want to welcome  Herbert Huncke and Allen … Read More

Herbert Huncke Centennial

[(“Old-timer & survivor, Herbert E Huncke, Beat Literary Pioneer, early decades thief, who introduced Burroughs, Kerouac & me to floating population hustling & drug scene Times Square 1945. From ’48 on, he penned remarkable musings, Collected as autobiographical vignettes, anecdotes & storyteller’s tales in the classic The Evening Sun Turned Crimson (Cherry Valley, 1970) and later Guilty of Everything. Here age 78 in basement back-yard, his apartment East 7th Street, near Avenue D, New York, May 18, 1993)” – (Photograph and Inscription by Allen Ginsberg)]

January 9 1915, the birthday of Herbert Huncke, original Beat – yes, today marks the … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 27

Student: (What changes did the so-called Imagist poets go through?) 

AG: Well, let’s see. I’m not clear what changes they went through. They apparently went through several changes. That same group of people and friends went through several changes in terminology as they refined their thought – and then there was a lot of literary politics.
Apparently a very interesting poet named Amy Lowell picked up on the idea of Imagism and the ideas of Chinese poetry, and began somewhat vulgarizing it, and formed a school, and declared herself the head of it and I think she made an … Read More

Meditation & Poetics – 26

Allen’s July 24 1978 Meditation and Poetics class continues… AG: I was, I think, mentioning (Ezra) Pound‘s distinction between presentation and reference.  [to Students] Did I do that here with you?   Students: No AG: Okay. Pound was saying (that) if you want to present your image do it as directly as possible. You present the details, you present the minute particulars, you don’t just refer to them. Like, not “lady” walking down the street”, but “middle-aged lady with a large flower-hat and a purple dress” walking down the street. That is, you present her a little bit, you … Read More

John Wieners Birthday

[John Wieners (1934-2002)]

John Wieners birthday today . We celebrate (as always) America’s great poète maudit, pure poet, sacred soul, lyric singer, lover, gay hero, rare treasure, blessed icon. For previous (extensive) John Wieners posts on the Allen Ginsberg Project – see here, here  and herehere and here Here, courtesy of Derek Fenner, is footage of John’s last public reading, given a mere eight days before his death on March 1 2002.


Posthumously, John’s reputation (as it should) just keeps on growing and growing. Two important pieces of scholarship (on-going) – Robert Dewhurst is hard … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 25


Our serialization of Allen’s 1978 Naropa Institute lecture series, Meditation and Poetics continues with this class from July 24 1978 AG: So, heroic days, the (19)20’s and (19)30’s, with heroic figures making movements which are based on real philosophic ideas, which were themselves based on new notions of sense perception, sharpening and focusing of sense perception. Oddly enough, in the twentieth-century, there was this breakthrough . Maybe because everything was so confusing, so relative, the Industrial Revolution had gone so far and everything began changing so much that there was no intellectual standard, no God to appeal to anymore, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and the Buddhist Lion Tiger Band

[Eugene Delacroix – Tiger  (detail) – from “A Young Tiger Playing with its Mother” (1830-31) in the collection of The Louvre, Paris, France]

Presenting vintage audio from the archives at Naropa – Allen Ginsberg in 1978 with the Buddhist Lion Tiger Band.  June 21 1978 is the date of this performance. The accompanying musicians -, Bill Douglas (resident musician on the faculty at Naropa) on electric piano, Glen Moore and Colin Walcott (of Oregon) on viola and Indian drums respectively, Andy Smith – doumbek (goblet drum) , Glenn Edwards, trumpet and Peter Orlovsky, back-up vocals

Tyger TygerRead More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 203


A New Year – the first of this year’s Friday Round-Ups, our regular weekly miscellany. A few weeks back, we featured one of Jay Blakesberg‘s extraordinary pictures of Allen. Here’s another.  William S Burroughs’ Centennial is officially over but we thought we’d sneak in one final Centennial report. – William Burroughs, le dernier humanist? (William Burroughs, the last humanist?) – the Anglophone gathering last month in Paris at École Normale Supérieure –Joseph Nechvatal at Hyperallergic provides a useful survey/overview of the proceedings. Next week, (next Friday) it’s Herbert Huncke’s Centennial (check out this Centennial screeningRead More