Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 316

Allen Ginsberg with Jon Sholle at the recording for Allen Ginsberg/William Blake – The Songs of Innocence and Experience

Excited to have received early advance copies  of  Pat Thomas‘ remarkable follow-up to the The Last Word on First Blues  CD-set, (release-date isn’t until June 23) – the  two-CD re-packaging of the Blake songs – The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience.

For a previous announcement on that important and highly-anticipated project – see here

Did we mention, May 8th, Gary Snyder‘s recent 87th birthday – this?  (an extensive and illuminating interview in Lion’s Roar ) –  and this?  (from the Santa Fe New Mexican) –   and this (Gary interviewed in Spanish).

Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg

Fugitive Timothy Leary correspondence – Sensitive Skin has got its sensitive hands on “three (apparently never-before-published) letters”  from Leary to Allen – The first, to be published – from Zihuatenjo, Mexico, dated May 8, 1963 –  (“Dear Allen, So. The process keeps going, faster and in more complex combinations…”) – see here –

The following two  (one from Berkeley in 1969, and a further missive, 1970, from Algiers) to follow.

Also, in Sensitive Skin, this – a touching note from Tom Savage “The Last Time I Met Allen Ginsberg”  – “I was walking through Tompkins Square Park/About two years after the brain surgery/From which I was still recovering./I saw Allen./He came toward me/.He touched me in the center of my chest./The heart chakra opened/And remained open for several months./Within a week or two, Allen was dead./It took me six years more to recover from the surgery./I never saw Allen again.”

A more detailed memoir, August Kleinzahler‘s, “Lunching With Ginsberg” (excerpted from his recently-published Sallies, Romps, Portraits, and Send Offs – Selected Prose 2000-2016 – and not quite so reverential) can be found – here

They celebrated Allen’s “Wales Visitation” last weekend in Swansea.    Here’s the poster:

…..reminding us that it’s Harry Smith‘s birthday next Monday (more on Monday about him)

Best Minds, The Allen Ginsberg lectures book, continues to get good notices. See here for Clay Evans review in the Boulder Daily Camera

Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights –  (from the San Francisco Chronicle‘s David Talbot, this week):

“…Since he lost sight in one eye, it’s been harder for Ferlinghetti, a longtime visual artist, to continue painting. Lately he’s devoting himself to recording his poems and his memories in the basement studio below Cafe Zoetrope, with the help of sound producer Jim McKee. As the literary godfather approaches the century mark, all of those around him are keenly aware of his legacy.”

Ed Sanders remains active (thankfully!) – WWABD – What would Allen be doing? – Well, he’d certainly be supporting this endeavor:

The Fugs will be performing a live version of “Exorcism of the White House” on Tuesday afternoon, May 30th, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., as part of a Veterans for Peace Rally.


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