Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 460

Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs – photo: Jerry Aronson

Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs in conversation (from Steven Taylor‘s wonderful transcriptions in  Don’t Hide The Madness

Here’s Hal Willner (as Allen) and Steven Taylor (as William) for the New York launch of the book (with an introduction by the Ginsberg Estate’s Peter Hale)

Thinking a lot of William a lot these days with his prescient evocations of dystopia and his deep understanding of virus

Keith Haring ‘untitled, figures representing the AIDS virus’, May 13, 1989. Water color and ink on paper.

Literary cultural-historical antecedentsBoccaccio’s Introduction to The Decameron, Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year..Albert Camus’ La Peste, etc, etc…


City Lights’ gofundme drive  (announced here (and elsewhere) last week).  Heartening to be able to report that, within days of the fundraising campaign starting up, the store more than achieved its goal – receiving more than $400,000, from nearly 9,000 contributors.

Elaine Katzenberger, City Lights publisher and CEO, just a few days on – “I’ve just returned home from a trip to North Beach. It was time for my weekly visit with (owner) Lawrence (Ferlinghetti) , who lives just a short walk from City Lights Bookstore. I wanted to tell him what I could about the absolute torrent of love and support we’ve received since the launch of this campaign just yesterday morning, but to be honest, I found it impossible to describe. How can I ever articulate the impact of seeing a community of people from all around the world respond so immediately and enthusiastically to our call for help? Especially now, when so many people are thrown into their own financial and existential insecurity? Knowing that City Lights is beloved is one thing, but to have that love manifest itself with such momentum and indomitable power, well, that’s something I don’t quite know how to find words for. We sat in silence a while, and then Lawrence asked me, “When is the store going to open up again?” and I had to say, “We still don’t know… nobody knows what happens next…” and then we sat in silence a while more”..

“The fiscal support we’re receiving here will help stabilize us for the next couple of months, and that will enable us to begin planning for the future. That’s critical. But beyond that, the outpouring of love we’re receiving is invaluable. I’ll tell you honestly that we’re all feeling a little giddy from it right now, and though there is a TON of work to do, this puts a strong wind at our backs. We’re taking today(Sunday) to breathe that rarefied air, and then tomorrow it’ll be time to roll up our sleeves again to try to find the way forward beyond this crisis. That uncertainty still looms, but we are all SO GRATEFUL to have reached this point. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

“Uncertainty still looms”, yes.  She adds – “I need to add a note here to say that we’re going to keep this campaign active for as long as there is interest in supporting us, and we will be extremely grateful for any additional funds. Although we’ve reached our goal quickly, we are still on unstable ground, and the truth is that we’re not used to asking for help, and so we set a rather modest goal. Anyone who would like to support us further, we encourage you to please do that, and please continue to pass the word. We’re committed to finding a way to bring City Lights forward, and the support we receive here will help us do that!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart”.


Arabic Allen. We featured Moroccan poet & scholar, El Habib Louai‘s translation of  Allen’s “America” a few years back. Here’s his translation (and reading) of “A Supermarket In California

and from the Three Rooms Press  “Don’t Hide The Madness” celebration (see above) – New York-based  Russian artist and author Slava Mogutin reads and discusses his translation of “America” – into Russian

Allen Ginsberg – World Traveller – World Citizen  

“Beatnik” and “Jack Kerouac and The Genesis of Rock ‘n Roll” – two short essays by Juan Arabia on Empty Mirror

Tom Waits on Hal Willner – “Brother. Uncle. Father. Son. Husband. Godfather. Friend. Wise and reckless. Lamb and black sheep. Lover of the afflicted and the blessed..” . We miss you, Hal.

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