It would have been Antonin Artaud‘s 119th birthday today. It would have been John Cage‘s 103rd. It will be Nicanor Parra‘s 101st tomorrow! – ¡Feliz cumpleaños! – Happy Birthday! – 101 years old ! – amazing!
Allen Ginsberg’s archives – the repository at Stanford – Geoffrey C Willard, the Media Production Coordinator, notes – “The Allen Ginsberg Papers in the Department of Special Collections is truly the collection that keeps on giving. We here at the media lab have digitalized a huge portion of the media (current count: 2000 + items) yet our interest in it remains high because of the sheer amount of gems hidden within”. Among recently-discovered such gems – two 1965 recordings of Bay Area concerts by Bob Dylan – “The audio quality is not stellar, but both tapes are very listenable during both the acoustic and electric portions.” “Even more interesting though is Ginsberg’s man-on-the-street style interviews with Dylan fans….Sandwiched in between the concert and the interviews on the same reel is a conversation between Ginsberg and Dylan, presumably backstage. It unfortunately suffers from a poorly placed microphone, but even with the boomy sound, it’s a riveting exchange.”
One of the all-time great Ginsberg photos – Jim Marshall‘s snap of Allen and Thelonious Monk backstage at Monterey in 1963. Chris Carosi at Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here (the always-informative City Lights blog) provides some of the background – here.
Howl parodies (the Howl template) continue to both inspire and provoke controversy. “Jay Sizemore‘s bitter reworking of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” called Scowl” [sic] sent parts of the poetry community into paroxysms of disgust last week”, writes Erik Kennedy in a piece this week on the Queen Mab’s Tea House “The Threat Aesthetic” Ugly misogyny? or freedom of speech? – or both? – “abuse shelter(ing) under the umbrella of art”?
From the vituperative to the positive. Here’s a picture of the cake Doug Holder was presented with on winning the inaugeral (2015) Allen Ginsberg Literary Community Contribution Award ! – Once again, congratulations!