Starting on Sunday – week one of the Naropa Summer Writing Program (a four-week program through to July 9) – “Indra’s Net Poetics“. This week – “Hive Mind”. Coming up – “Grids, Maps & Constellations“, “Science & Sanity“, and “Labyrinths of Community, Labyrinths of Performance”
No Friday Round-Up for a couple of weeks, so a lot to catch up on. Allen’s box-set CD (The Last Word on First Blues) continues to get positive notices. Here’s Grant Britt’s review in No Depression Here’s producer Pat Thomas interviewed on the website Aquarium Drunkard “His voice (Allen’s voice) to me sounds warm and engaged and engaging, feels like an old friend, or even family member singing to me. Weirdly, I find it comforting and inspiring.”
Pat Thomas had more words to say and proved a lively m-c last Friday at the gathering for The Last Word on First Blues at NYC’s Beat and Beyond event. (see Nicole Disser’s overview of that festival for Bedford+Bowery – here)
More on the Beat and Beyond event (event – it was a non-stop jamboree). Here’s Hettie Jones on the second day (Saturday) reading
and here’s the “We Also Remember” board – Beats and Beats Beyond that we remember. RIP.
New York’s Daily News on Allen’s birthday had an interesting piece by Brian Lisi on “Allen Ginsberg and his New York City haunts” (Columbia University, the old Women’s House of Detention and Gaslight Cafe, Gem Spa, Tompkins Square Park). There was also an accompanying article (by Allison Chopin), “Ten Memorable Allen Ginsberg Quotes” (which, mercifully, didn’t resort to the memes of “Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness..” and “Whoever controls the media.. etc etc” – or even, (surprisingly?) one of the current faves – “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about it being heard”)
Patti Smith and Philip Glass were in Japan this past week (at the Sumida Trophony Hall in Tokyo) with a very special version of their “The Poet Speaks“, collaborative hommage to Allen, (this time featuring – projected on the screen behind them, at one point in the evening), an original translation, made-for-the-occasion, of Allen by novelist (and esteemed translator) Haruki Murakami
Arthur Russell‘s archives have been acquired, it was recently announced – and by no less an institution than the New York Public Library – 166 linear feet of them! – “manuscripts, documents, ephemera, and sound recordings representing Russell’s lifework in music”. It contains “thousands of pages of handwritten compositions, lyric and song ideas, detailed project notes, graphic art, performance documentation, rare and unique vinyl LPs, and a trove of more than 1000 studio masters, alternate mixes and Russell’s personal audio cassette listening copies of works from his genre-defying oeuvre”
The New York Public Library’s announcement of the acquisition can be read in its entirety – here
While Allen was being celebrated in New York (June 3rd) David Schneider was visiting and gracing the San Francisco Zen Center with a reading from his wonderful biography of Zen abbot, Philip Whalen, Crowded By Beauty
Oh yes, it’s been a busy past few weeks.