International Women’s Day today. Beats and Women. It’s a thorny ol’ question. What place for women? Undeniably a male-driven movement, was it (must it forever be seen as) an alienating, even misogynist, movement?, an irredeemably sexist movement?… Yes, and no – What of the great occluded women? What of half of the culture marginalized and exploited? (rebellion, so much easier for “the boys’ club”!). What of the great (Beat) women writers (only now being properly acknowledged and (re)discovered). What do we see when we look back (and when we look forward) ?
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by wedding planners, dieting, in shapewear,dragging themselves in cute outfits through the freezer section for the semifreddo bender…”Read Amy Newman’s “Howl”, (“Howl” from a (2015) feminist perspective).
Here’s Naomi, Allen’s mother (with the young (nine-year-old) Allen)
Here’s Naomi Ginsberg‘s painting of her son (from a few years later)
& many more.
Joanne Kyger’s September 1996 poem, “Poison Oak for Allen”
Sunday March 24th – Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th birthday! – a monumental occasion! – We’ll have more about it in the coming days. Meanwhile, here (via City Lights) is the San Francisco schedule (a week-long celebration) – (see also announcements here and here)
Ernesto Cardenal, the great Ernesto Cardenal, poet-priest, now 94 years old and in declining health, suspended from his priestly duties by Pope John II in 1984, has “without any sign of public repentance” (sic) had his suspension lifted this past month by the current Pope, Pope Francis For a detailed report, en español, see here
“Beatniks and Bengali Poets – Who Influenced Whom?” – Samantak Das‘s provocative op-ed piece in the (Indian) Telegraph is well worth a read – Ginsberg and the Hungryalists – Colonialism and Chronology – Social and Intellectual Hierarchies – Das describes “a Bengali intellectual, speaking in Calcutta in 2019, in Bangla, of the relationship between Ginsberg and modern Bengali poetry”, seemingly “enthralled by the idea that Ginsberg it was who rejuvenated Bengali verse, rather than (what appears to have actually been the case) the other way round” .
Jack Kerouac’s birthday next week – Lowell celebrations tomorrow, and Tuesday (the actual birthday) Jerry Cimino and John Allen Cassady celebrate at the Beat Museum