Perhaps also, a quick reminder on this volume
Cassidy, a book-seller, out of the Washington DC area, who we’ve featured before, is a valuable go-to site. Do yourself a treat and check out his regular (now sixteen of them!) annotated catalogues. The most recent features a detailed seven-page bibliographic essay on “Howl” and on this particular discovery
(and check out, also, in his previous catalog, fifteen – another rarity – one of the few surviving copies of Allen’s second (mimeo) book, (following the mimeo of Howl), Siesta in Xlbaba)
Given the profundity of the work (its monumental historical significance) and the absurdity (not to mention plain ignorance) of the critique, it’s with some reluctance that we return to the Colorado (Steamboat Springs) controversy that we reported on a couple of weeks back . Local ABC affiliate,Channel 7 (Denver), has chosen to fan the flames in what it reports as a “growing controversy” – “The issue forced the school district to publicly apologize (this past) Monday”, their reporter, Russell Haythorn, writes. Haythorn quotes Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty, a Texas-based right-wing “religious freedom” organization that the parents of student (Skylar Cason) contacted. Dys’s letter to the school board (along with accompanying complimentary materials) can be read here. – Howl? – an “oft-criticized relatively obscure poem”? – uh? – we don’t think so!
The infamous Daily Mail of course jumped on the story, & Metro ( a free newspaper) also picked it up, with the suitably alarming and asterisk-laden headline – “Girl outraged after school made her read poem about “being f**ked in the ass by motorcyclists” – (er.. no comment!)
Opening last Saturday (and up through February 2020) at the Von Bartha Gallery in Basel, Switzerland, (twenty years after a legendary Burroughs-Gysin evening at Von Bartha), “William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin and The Dream Machine”, “an extensive retrospective of the universe around the Beat Generation” (and a particular focus on that specific invention).
“In addition to original construction plans, prototypes of the Dreamachine, (and) archival photographs, numerous works by artists from the Beat Generation will (also) be on display.”
Bob Kaufman news:
Jonah Raskin in his review for Counterpunch (“Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down To His Bones – Being Bob Kaufman”) of the Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman
“Like (Jack) Kerouac, (Allen) Ginsberg and (William) Burroughs, Kaufman often wrote in the first person, but he also seemed to subvert the first person when he wrote, in (the poem) “Ginsberg (for Allen)”, “I am not not an I…I do nothing.”.
He (Raskin) goes on to further develop the parallel – “A mimic who could adopt different voices, Kaufman could sound like Ginsberg (like) in (the poem) “Benediction,” a short, angry, ironical, surrealistic poem in which he writes, “America, I forgive you/Eating black children/… Burning Japanese babies.” (It) ends rather predictably, “Every day your people get more and more/ Cars, television, sickness, death dreams.” But perhaps it’s Ginsberg who sounds like Kaufman.
Raskin concludes, “Ginsberg was rarely as enraged as Kaufman was. Ginsberg’s poem, “America,” ends, “I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.” Kaufman was far more alienated from American life than Ginsberg or Kerouac. A century after the end of the American Civil War, it still rankled him.”
and Tony Leuzzi in the Brooklyn Rail – ” Clearly, Kaufman deserves much-needed reassessment. Given his aesthetic and thematic range, and the current, if belated commitment in American letters to center Blackness, City Lights Books’ publication of Kaufman’s oeuvre augurs good fortune for his posterity—something, ironically, Kaufman cared very little about.”
and, again: “..Complicated, observant, yet uniquely uncorrupted and vulnerable, Kaufman earns the much overused and oft-misunderstood adjective “original.” His poems are suffused with humility (and) authority…”
Shakespeare & Company in Paris celebrating.. well, one hundred years of Shakespeare & Company in Paris. See Hannah Williams overview in The Guardian ( and Caitlin O’Keefe’s “The Secret Feminist History of Shakespeare and Company” in the New York Review of Books)
Bob Dylan visited Kerouac’s home town, Lowell, this past Tuesday
For those in New York City tonight – Lost & Found launch their latest (their eighth) series of books/booklets/wonderful archival retrievals – primary documents – Diane di Prima“s Prometheus UnBound As A Magickal Working (edited by Iris Cushing), “a strange gift” – Mary Norbert Korte’s Response to Michael McClure’s Ghost Tantras (edited by Mary Catherine Kinniburgh), books by and on, Julio Cortazar, Pedro Pietri, Muriel Rukeyser...
For more – (and for more on the first seven Lost & Founds) – see here