Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 283

Edson cemetry, Lowell, Mass. The exact location. Bob Dylan and Allen visiting Jack Kerouac’s grave. We’ve featured Bob Egan‘s conceptual recreations – Popspots – before –  here.  Here’s his re-staging of two of Ken Regan‘s iconic photos.

Here’s another of his Popspots ( “Pot Is A Reality Kick” – Benedict J Fernandez‘s much-circulated image of Allen at the LEMAR (Committee To Legalize Marijuana) protest, Christopher Street at 6th Avenue, New York City, January, 1965

Oscar Wilde 1854-1900

Patti Smith reading Oscar Wilde in Reading Gaol ?  Reading Gaol (HM Prison, Reading) will be open, surprisingly, for the first time in its history, to the general public, and hosting an array of art events in the upcoming two months –  Inside-Artists and Writers in Reading Prison  (from September 4th (Sunday) through to 30th of October)

Neal Bartlett on Sunday, sets off a series oweekly readings of De Profundis in the old prison chapel.

Patti’ s reading from that text on October 30 closes it.

BBC’s Radio 4 will produce an abridged version of that work, recorded, in situ, (in what was Wilde’s cell), on Sunday 11th of September.

 “Yet each man kills the thing he loves..”  (“The Ballad of Reading Gaol“)

Here‘s (allegedly) the authentic voice of Wilde (from an old wax cylinder). Experts have long-since proved this to be a fake (allbeit an accomplished fake), but hey, you never know…

More BBC radio (up in its entirety only for the next month, so don’t miss it). Here‘s our good friend, Steve Silberman, in conversation with Michael Berkeley (from BBC Radio 3’s Private Passions):

Michael Berkeley: ..You have a strong association with this. It’s the performance-poetry of Allen Ginsberg, and for a while you were his assistant in the “Eighties..

Steve Silberman: Well, I saw him read poetry when I was about nineteen, and it was like being struck by lightning. I’d never seen a middle-aged man who seemed so happy and so much fully embodied in his own body and  so aware of the moment, and he had a passion in his voice that I’d never seen before and, in a sense, I fell in love with him on sight, and decided to.. whatever he needed the following summer I would do, and I ended up becoming his student first, and then, ten years later, I became his teaching assistant

MB: What did working with Ginsberg tend to involve you in ?

SS: One of the things that he (Allen) gave me to do, as a shy, dorky, completely star-struck kid from New Jersey, was he gave me his journals, which he carried with him everywhere and continuously wrote in, and he said, “if you see anything that looks like a poem, call it to my attention”, so I actually did find pieces of writing that were so condensed and so good and so focused that they became poems that were published in his published work.

MB: I think Bob Dylan encouraged him to sing didn’t he?

SS: Well, yes

MB: Was that a good idea?

SS: I think he’s a better reader than he was a singer, myself. This is actually my very favorite recording of his voice. There were thousands, obviously, but this is my favorite
And it’s called “The End”

SS: What’s wonderful about this particular recording is that he made it with some of the best jazz musicians in New York, like Bill Frisell and Arto Lindsay, and so it was Allen as sort of the senior enlightened poet, working with these young jazz musicians and they created atmospheres around his extremely resonant voice. At his best, Allen was like a secular cantor or rabbi or something, speaking for all humanity.

Ed Sanders

More radio – this time American radio, NPR Jon Kalish reports on a story we reported on hereEd Sanders is selling his archives –
“I like my archive. It’s a living thing. It’s like a life form. It’s like a big mushroom out there”, Ed boldly declares
A transcript of the broadcast can be looked at here

Dennis Cooper

Another follow-up story (and a story close to our hearts!)   Dennis Cooper, after weeks of petitions, discussions and negotiations, finally got Google to give him his blog back (you may recall back in June, he woke up to discover that they’d mysteriously erased it). He still faces the monumental task of restoring each post by hand, but at least all that work (over a decade of work) is not lost for good. According to Google, an unnamed user flagged an unknown image as “child pornography” – Hmmm…

Blake-o-philes (that’s all of us, right?), some thrilling news – The world’s largest William Blake Gallery is about to open next month in San Francisco. Longtime rare book dealer, John Windle will display” over one thousand original Blake pieces, alongside thousands of reproductions of the artist’s own writings and artwork” – “I must be stark raving mad. Like Blake”, Windle wittily remarks.    For more on this historic announcement – see here

Burroughs news – Today, sees the release of Steve Buscemi and Elliott Sharp‘s project –  Rub Out The Word (Buscemi reading Burroughs over Elliott Sharp’s guitar and electronics)

“Local boy” Hal Willner speaks of Burroughs and another Burroughs project – in the Philadelphia Inquirer – here

The always-intriguing blog, Dangerous Minds, looks back on Burroughs’  experiments with orgone accumulators  (via a 1977 article in Oui magazine ) – here

Eliot Katz’s The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg continues to great reviews. Here‘s fellow Ginsberg-o-phile, Jim Cohn in an extensive review in Big Bridge:

“The Allen Ginsberg that Katz has written about is so accurate a portrait of the Beat Generation poet, as a man, and as a political activist, that I could not put the book down. The real Allen Ginsberg inhabits these pages; not a fiction. Katz’s Poetry and Politics is an accurate portrait, and as such, should be considered a cornerstone of all future research and scholarship on the relationship between Ginsberg’s poetry and his political beliefs and actions, as well as their meaning for us now.”and here (from NJ Spotlight) is another review


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