Patti Smith’s Birthday


[Patti Smith – Photograph by Jesse Ditmar]

Patti Smith gets to celebrate her 69th birthday tonight with her band at San Francisco’s Fillmore, ending up a year that saw the 40th anniversary of her landmark recording, “Horses” and the release of her latest memoir, M Train.  For more of Patti on M Train, see here

And here‘s her conversation with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library And here she is, speaking on Just Kids and M Train on Democracy Now! Here’s Penelope Green’s October 2015  New York Times profile –  “Patti Smith, Survivor  And … Read More

Eileen Myles

[Eileen Myles, 1978 – Photograph ny Robert Mapplethorpe, 2015 – Photograph by Catherine Opie]

Eileen Myles has had quite a year – publication these few months back of, not one but, two new books – I Must Be Living Twice – New and Selected Poems 1975-2014 and the re-publication of her 1994 novel (now so-called, as against “short stories”), Chelsea Girls (both from Ecco Press, an imprint of HarperCollins). The meme was (perhaps) set with this – Rachel Monroe‘s September 21 article in New York magazine – “After 19 Books and A Presidential Bid Eileen Myles Gets Her Due”Read More

December 28 – A 15-year-old Ginsberg declares….

December 28

December 28, 1941 – A young precocious (fifteen-year-old) Allen Ginsberg writes from Paterson, New Jersey to the Editors of the New York Times – about unconscionable delays with regard to U.S. involvement in the continuing conflicts of the Second World War –  (“mental impotence and political infirmity on the part of a handful of U.S. Congressmen”)

(This is the first, and earliest, letter in the 2008 (Bill Morgan-edited) Da Capo edition of  The Letters of Allen Ginsberg) AG:Dear Editor,I have long believed,  in principle, the ideals of Woodrow Wilson and regretted that we did not choose to live with … Read More


Scribbled Christmas comics from Allen Ginsberg from twenty-three years ago.Remember “Put on my tie in a taxi, short of breath, rushing to meditate”  (from American Sentences)?It’s ok, Allen. You can rest now.Our 2013 posting of Jack Kerouac’s Christmas memories of Lowell can be accessed hereNot forgetting William Burroughs’  The Junky’s Christmas  (Christmas 2014 posting)

and, keeping up the theme of Beat Kitsch we’ve been looking at recently, Here’s Patsy Raye & The Beatniks  

– Merry Christmas everyone!

back next week(hey, it may be a bit retro’, but we love our “Google Friend Connect” Members – join this … Read More

Beatnik Exploitation -1




A while back, we ran a number of posts on Beat sociology – “Beatniks” – and Beat Exploitation Beat Kitsch –  see here and here and here and here This recent post, from the indefatigable catalogers/bloggers at Houghton Library, Harvard – “Beelzebub Books” (sic) (promising “an uncensored, unexpurgated expose of the Beat Generation”) –  got us to pondering the subject again  –  “More daring than any fiction”? – (Ah, but it is a fiction!) Sex and Violence. Hypocritical Thrill-Seeking. Tabloid Sensationalism. The second item, the New York Mirror‘s  April 10, 1961 edition and its unforgettable headline, “3000 … Read More

Auden’s “The Age of Anxiety”

                      [W.H.Auden (1907-1973]

Allen, continuing with his “Basic Poetics” class at Naropa – January 7, 1980

AG: So Auden – W.H.Auden, the… who, incidentally, it was his anthology that I was reading from originally – the… it’s the first thing in his five-volume anthology of English poetry, poetry of the English language (which we’ve talked about before) also, in the (19)40’s, during World War II, wrote a very great poem called “Age of Anxiety” in old Germanic and Anglo-Saxon alliterative meters. So I thought I would read some of that … Read More

Ginsberg on Dylan (from “No Direction Home”)

Allen Ginsberg not Alan Ginsberg!  Some time back (January 2014) we ran part of this clip, but here it is again.Allen’s comments are, of course, from the 2005 American Masters documentary (directed by Martin Scorsese) – No Direction Home – Bob Dylan

AG: “A very famous saying among the Tibetan Buddhists – “If the student is not better than the teacher then the teacher’s a failure” – and I was really knocked out by the eloquence (of Dylan), particularly, “I’ll know my song well before I start singing…”..”where all souls shall reflect it” (or, you know, “(I’ll) stand on … Read More