The New York Times this week deigned to pronounce Iron Curtain Journals one of the “new and noteworthy” book titles in its weekly round-up -“The great Beat poet traveled to Communist countries in the first half of 1965, Cuba and Poland among them. These journals convey his impressions, both insightful and banal” – “both insightful and banal”? – right! – Not surprisingly, no mention of Don’t Hide The Madness (or Straight Around Allen, come to think of it). No matter. We’ll take the opportunity of mentioning them.
A not-to-be-missed profile of Hank O’Neal (Allen’s conduit to Berenice Abbott and much else), by Mark Feeny, appeared, the end of last week, in the Boston Globe – It begins “Hank O’Neal may be the most interesting person you’ve never heard of…”
(Elsewhere), O’Neal himself writes: “John Hammond introduced me to Allen Ginsberg in 1981 and that was fortuitous because Allen and I worked on various projects until his death in 1997. The first project was a two LP recording entitled First Blues and the last was Gay Day, a book that was never released until nine years after Allen’s death. In the 1980s Allen became increasingly interested in photography and even though he used a small Olympus in those years he was fascinated with my wooden Deardorff, which I used to take this portrait of him at his East 12th Street apartment in 1986. He’s holding a portrait he took of his uncle who was dying in a New York City hospital”
and here’s another portrait by Hank of Allen
An excerpt from the book may be read – here
“I am with you in Pawtucket”, 75-year-old Norma Jenckes wins the prize in Rhode Island with her “Ghazal Howl in Pawtucket”