We focused on the auction house last week, here on the Ginsberg Project (Kerouac sale next Wednesday). It’s some time, we realize, since we last checked in on the Ginsberg-on-Ebay world. Let’s do so.
Top item – that first edition of Howl, signed by Allen and Burroughs and.. Lucien Carr! – (a mere $33,000). Less expensive but certainly of interest this postcard (from 1959) to Al Podell, erstwhile editor of the Chicago Review, and, following censorship of that mag, Big Table – (featuring, en passant, Neal Cassady‘s address of the moment):
& here’s Allen’s copy of Mostly Sitting Haiku inscribed to Daniel Ellsberg
and here’s a page from the rare 1971 Grabhorn-Hoyem 1970 San Francisco Ginsberg-Robert LaVigne collaboration, The Moment’s Return
Also last week – looking forward to this upcoming summer’s NAROPA Summer Writing Program. Worth noting that there are available scholarships, and the deadline for them has been extended – until March 1st. Among the scholarships (new this year), three non-credit tuition scholarships awarded in memory of poet (and 2015 Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow), Kevin Killian – These three are specifically earmarked to support “writers whose work participates in (t)his lineage of queer poetics”. For full details of the Kevin Killian Memorial Scholarships, indeed, all of the scholarships – see here.
(to listen to Kevin reading from his memoir, Fascination – see here)
Don’t miss Kirpal Gordon & Jim Cohn, (two, as it happens, Naropa alumnae),’ and their informed discussion of Gordon Ball‘s Cherry Valley memoir East Hill Farm (and more – it’s a wide-ranging discussion) – here
Cohn: “East Hill Farm appears to me to be a work of outstanding personal research and scholarship.”…” I would argue that Kerouac’s art leaned into the past for its sustenance. Allen’s leaned into the future. Gordon Ball, as the writing itself suggests, exhibits the power of the present.”
Cohn also praises Ball’s book as a “corrective document to mainstream Beat bias or the entire Beat project falling out of favor with young poets today. It is a remarkably open and honest look at the agrarian & communal poetry scene Allen set out to create at the end of the 1960s.”
Don’t miss, also, Akanksha Singh‘s “The Beats, the Hungryalists and The Call of the East” in the LA Review of Books
Singh: “Of the Beats who visited India, it is indubitably Ginsberg who reflected the impact his time here had on him. Not just in his understanding of the complexities of life, which he’d later attribute to practicing Buddhism, but in his art, too..”
“(I)t is perhaps important to note here that the Beats and Hungryalists did not know of (or care for) each other’s existence until Ginsberg would meet a few of them through his travels in India. It’s tempting to put this down to ignorance on both sides, but the worlds they were each born into were all-consuming. On the one hand, the United States was in the midst of the Cold War, facing off with the Soviets and averting nuclear conflict in Cuba; on the other, Delhi and Peking had their own cold war brewing on account of a border dispute, India’s recognition of Tibet as a sovereign state, and India’s safeguarding of the Dalai Lama…”
Beats and sexism, Beats and misogony. Rebecca Solnit addresses the issue – the wider issue – patriarchal presumption – in her upcoming new book, Recollections of My Nonexistence – A Memoir, (and, in so doing, takes some particular swipes at Lawrence Ferlighetti, and also “beat brothers”, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac)
Jonah Raskin wades in with an early review of that book – here
Vladislav Surkov’s departure from power a few days ago is worthy of note
The anniversary of the birthday today of the poet W H Auden. See Allen on Auden here, here, (and on The Age of Anxiety) here, here, here and here