Weekend of Gay Pride – the last week of Pride Month – Celebrating Gay Pride! – Quarantined by the pandemic, so, sadly, no rambunctious outdoor parades this year, but celebrating, joyfully, nonetheless, (particularly here in the U.S., in the light of the recent Supreme Court decision). Tomorrow is the anniversary of Stonewall (fifty-one years on!)
and for those of you who missed it, here’s our Gay Pride posting from last year.
“Old Love Story”, Allen’s poem-celebration – here
“Please Master” (sic) – here
“The dynamic and enduring friendship between Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara, leading figures in Beat and New York School circles respectively, reveals the ways in which it was possible to resist the forcefully venerated post-war ideals of uncompromising heterosexual masculinity and the nuclear family, through cultivating queer male friendships…”, Rona Cran writes, in her essay, “Safe In Your Thoughtful Arms” – The Radical Friendship of Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg” – For a close examination of that important relationship – see here
“This essay seeks to re-examine Dante and Ginsberg through their seminal works, La Divina Commedia – Inferno and “Howl,” placing particular attention on the use of dramatic monologue in which speakers are speaking on behalf of themselves and their experience. The poems share a great deal, both in terms of their style and meaning. Both poems employ a tripartite structure of katabasis and ascent, and confessional monologues which invoke some moral-spiritual consideration by the reader. While their metric elements are dissimilar, the speakers in both poems explore hell and transcendence as a means to bemoan the social issues of their day, critique those responsible, and offer a way forward through the avenue of spiritual-holy love and self-discovery. Moreover, the single-word titles of both works evoke the structure, style, and meaning within…”.
We mentioned it last week but think it worth mentioning again, Poets House in New York have put up a fully-digitalized edition of Le Roi Jones (Amiri Baraka)’s classic 1961 chapbook, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note. Accompanying it are two videos, a 1998 conversation between E. Ethelbert Miller and the poet, (featuring Baraka reading the title poem and speaking of his early years as a poet), and a video portrait, (produced by Christopher Benincasa), tracing his connections to Newark, (including footage of a 1983 interview, and also from one of the last readings he ever gave, in 2013, the year before his death) Rounding it out, on site, is an interview with Hettie Jones (Baraka’s one-time spouse) about the origins of their legendary Totem Press as well as a reflection on the life and work of Baraka by Haki R. Madhubuti