Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso in conversation, 1989, continuing from here
AG: I’ve enjoyed it.. (Editorial note – teaching at Naropa) – Now, I’ve learned some interesting things over in Brooklyn College, because now I’m a Distinguished Professor..
GC; Oh that’s right..
AG: …and I got tenure a week ago, September 1st, last.
AG: Now I can fuck up and they can’t kick me out anymore!
GC: Well, that’s good. So how many, like.. that’s..how many days a week?
AG: And then the president, (Robert) Hess, said there’s room for the both of you when he comes back.
GC: Well you’re teaching, Al. What’ s that consist (of)? .. there you go.. because I taught one of your classes when you were ill once.
AG; Well, one workshop.
GC: I liked the black kid in there, he was always a kind of..
AG: Yes, I have a whole book by him..
GC: I don’t know about that old lady…
AG: Paul Beatty, Paul Beatty.
GC: Yeah, I don’t know about that old lady, whether she’d like any of the..
AG: She wasn’t in the class.
GC: Oh, Okay, she wasn’t… she was just sitting in.
AG She’s an old lady that Bill (sic) tells me comes and sits in
GC: That’s it.
AG: And then I have this term, I have about eleven or twelve people in the workshop and about seven tutorials...
GC: Are they very serious persons? Are these people serious?
AG: Some are serious, some are too serious, some are too light-hearted, some are giddy, some are sardonic. One or two..
GC: But did you have any university trouble while you attended there?
GC: Wasn’t there some trouble though, once, about the University, the kids striking or the teachers striking?
AG Oh yeah – they were going to raise the tuition.
GC: Tuition, right
AG: So all the schools went on strike (all the CUNY schools (City University of New York). And that was the day when Sonia Sanchez came in, among the ten African-American poets.,
GC: Oh, that’s right,she’s a poet there, black poet..
AG: ‘..(to read in my) course that we invented called “African-American..” lets see now, “African-American Literary Genius from Ma Rainey to Gwendolyn Brooks“
GC: Right – Oh!..
AG: .. She taught in tandem with a black professor, Marie Buncombe
GC: You read with Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen?
AG: Yeah …
GC: I first heard of her in 1950. This is two lines I remember very well – “Abortions will never let you forget/the children you could have had but did not get “
AG: Uh-huh. She was actually pretty humane
GC: Yeah, David
AG: …remember days in Le Metro? ) – The whole thing was originally inspired by Amiri Baraka visiting for our “Living Poetics” (series).. no, “Beat Generation..”, “Literary History of the Beat Generation” was an earlier course.
GC: So then LeRoi would be in that, right?
AG: Yes, Amiri Baraka – And we also had Michael Harper