David S Wills’ remarkable Beatdom continues to be a first-rate location for writings on Allen and the Beat Generation. We spotlighted Bryan Myers essay on Allen last week, we’ll spotlight this week another essay, Lauren Mottel’s “The Protests of Ginsberg and Di Prima As Marginalized Minorities”, a thoughtful analysis of shared marginalization – “Despite the apparent connectivity of the Beats, marginalization occurred within the circle of outcasts, in which women and artists of color were left in the periphery.” Both Allen and Diane di Prima, Mottel argues, locate themselves “at the intersection between politics and spirituality, both writers allude to classical mythology and implement religious syntax to promote and address unconventional norms.”
And a shout-out too, while we’re at it, to Wills’ own, long-in-the making, new book, World Citizen – Allen Ginsberg As Traveller – “Allen Ginsberg was one of the most recognisable public figures of the 20th century, and one of the most important American poets of all time. Yet he was also a seasoned traveller, capable of spending months or even years on the road, surviving on his wits. For Ginsberg, travel was more than a frivolous hobby; it was something that shaped him as a poet, an activist, and a person..”
Another crucial go-to spot for the Beat Generation scholar is Kevin Ring‘s inestimable Beat Scene (issue 96 soon on its way – yes, 96!). Not only have there been 96 issues, there have also been 68 limited edition chapbooks, the most recent of which is Jim Burns‘ Kerouac and Jazz
And not only video and audio – books, plenty of books – Here’s William Burroughs in Buffalo from the upcoming gathering Headshots – A Selection of Original Photographic Portraiture of Prominent American Writers by Allen De Loach (other featured writers include Allen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Robert Creeley..)
Ragged Lion Press home-page is here
Jacob Rabinowitz. who’s no-holds-barred memoir, Blame It On Blake we thoroughly enjoyed, and which remains among the best and most intimate of memoirs, continues his recollections, this time via poetry (“Oops! I Died”) serialized on his blog, Scholar Adrift – here, here and here
Realizing we’re writing this in the times of a global pandemic – Stay safe, people, stay strong people, an extraordinary opportunity to show care and compassion, that we’re in this together.