Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 449

AG & Philip Glass

Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg, Turin, 1992 – photo: Guido Harari – courtesy Morrison Hotel Gallery

Happy Birthday Philip Glass!  Philip Glass, Allen’s dear friend and collaborator turns 83 today.

See previous Philip Glass birthday postings  here, here, here, and  here

and. don’t miss our special two-part posting  here and here

Allen is interviewed alongside Philip Glass for WFMT Chicago by Studs Terkel in 1990 here and here

Roberto Pacifico’s review in Quaderni d’altri tempi of Luca Fontana’s recently-published edition of  Poesie 1947-1995, (his newly-translated Italian version of Allen’s 1996 Selected Poems)Trasfigurazioni Cangianti” (Iridescent Transfiguration) – is a sympathetic and valuable overview of the poets work.

Quoting the editor, Leopoldo Carra, at the outset, Pacifico notes, “the unique and exclusive character of this Ginsbergian anthology” (il carattere unico ed esclusivo di questa antologia ginsberghiana) – “It is highly probable that this anthology remains the only book in Italian to document…his tireless research on the word, on the elasticity of the verse, the melodiousness of poetry” (È assai probabile che questa antologia resti a tutt’oggi l’unico libro in italiano a documentare…l’instancabile ricerca sulla parola, sull’elasticità del verso, sulla cantabilità della poesia)…”In this new anthology the thematic and tonal variety of Ginsberg’s poetry is fully deployed, with its (open) political, devotional, sexual, familiar references, in a continuous (and at first stunning)  roller-coaster  between autobiographical confession, protest, commentary, controversy, anger” (In questa nuova antologia si trova interamente dispiegata la varietà tematica e tonal della poesia ginsberghiana, con i suoi (aperti) riferimenti politici, devozionali, sensuali, familiari, in un continuo (e di primo acchito stordente) ottovolante tra confessione autobiografica, protesta, cronaca, polemica, rabbia), “from  the realistic poetry where Ginsberg adopts the megaphone of the contemporary bard to influence the American conscience towards a democratic and humanitarian awakening, up to the rediscovery of oriental thought through the meditative themes of Dharma with the transformation of passion into humor…(dalla poesia realistica dove Ginsberg adotta il megafono del bardo contemporaneo per influenzare la coscienza americana verso un risveglio democratico e umanitario, fino alla riscoperta del pensiero orientale attraverso i temi meditativi del Dharma, con la trasformazione della passione in umorismo..)

Pacifico notes  “the extreme stylistic and formal variety/versatility of Ginsberg, which is expressed both in the incandescent flows of the long and almost narrative verses of “Howl” and “Kaddish”, as in the often short poems such as haiku and in the dancing rhyme-kissed  verses, perfectly rendered by the translator” (l’estrema varietà/versatilità stilistica e formale di Ginsberg, che si esprime tanto nelle colate incandescenti dei versi lunghi e quasi narrativi di Urlo e Kaddish, quanto nelle poesie spesso brevi come haiku, e nelle danzanti strofe a rima baciata, perfettamente rese dal traduttore)…”Ginsberg’s resilience (stylistic and metric)…is an aspect Luca Fontana’s translation which faithfully follows both the accumulation of verbopassional rain in the great torrent of Ginsberg’s poems, and the dancing tour of rhyme-kissed ballads and blues” (La resilienza (stilistica e metrica) della poesia di Ginsberg…è un aspetto ben evidenziato…dalla traduzione di Luca Fontana che segue fedelmente sia l’accumulo di precipitazioni verbopassionali nel gran torrente dei poemi ginsberghiani, sia il giro danzante di rime baciate delle ballate e dei blues)

For the full review – see here 

Thanks to our friend David S Wills for alerting us to this. Last week in Cambodia (Siem Reap)

“Hipsters and gunslingers, poets and scribes” gathered together at the OneEleven Gallery. (Charles) Bukowski may still have a vigorous readership there but Allen has the historical placement. The reference is of course to his 1963 visit and the poem that came out of it, some four years later,“Ankor Wat” (sic)

AG on cover of Long Hair

Ankor Wat cover

From more on that poem (including audio of Allen reading from it) – see here


  1. I would like to thank Allen for quoting my review (published on the eMag “Quaderni d’altri tempi”) of the new translations by Luca Fontana of Ginsberg’s Selected Poems. I also beg to suggest “Una generazione sempre on the road” April 14th 2017, an article on the Italian translation of Ginsberg’s unpublished poems.

  2. Thank you to the reference to our Siem Reap ‘HOWL’ event. Here is some more information for those who might be curious.

    What is Howl?
    HOWL brings writers, audiences and spaces together to create one-off ‘pop-up’ word events, drawing on the versatility of the pop-up to bring writers, scribes, poets etc. together.

    Our inspiration . . .

    Our name is inspired by Allen’s poem, whose words, verses and imagery threw open the possibilities for how we write, speak and publish. Our title is also inspired by the notion that it is the writer’s role to ‘howl wildly’, to use words to fashion sentences, lines and verses that embolden minds, broaden imaginations and shine lights into the corners of human existence.

    HOWL is expanding across Southeast Asia, with events scheduled in Phnom Penh, Battambang and shortly, over the border in Vietnam. At our essence is the appreciation that ‘HOWL’ is owned by no one – so anyone can organise a HOWL event, anywhere. Reach out to is if you would like more information on the ways to do this and copies of the HOWL logo.

    More at:

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