Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 474

David Olio

David Olio – Remember David Olio? – He was the teacher who, back in 2015, got censured and lost his job for teaching Allen’s “Please Master” in his South Windsor Connecticut, High School class.  Happy to report (a tad belatedly, we’ll confess) – the update.

As Tim Leininger in the Journal Enquirer reports, “He (Olio) went on to become an adjunct faculty member at the University of Connecticut, and to create the Allen Foundation, named after Ginsberg, “to celebrate and honor the Greater Hartford LGBTQ community, support students who are interested in the arts and social justice, and to make visible these continuing problems that this community of folks face.””

Olin is interviewed by Leininger:

Olio: It was a tough go, 2015. That’s when a student brought in a poem while our UCONN ECE (Early College Experience) AP senior course was happening, February 25th, I believe, 2015. He brought in a poem by Ginsberg. We read it in class, and it caused an uproar.
Leininger: What happened?
Olin: Overall, I was immediately suspended and within three days I was sent a termination letter from South Windsor. The amount of support during that time from former students, students, community members was moving. Hundreds of letters went to the superintendent, but to no avail.
Leininger: What was so incendiary about the poem?
Olio: I think folks saw the language as being inappropriate. I can understand that. I’m not sure it’s a maturity level. I think it’s a sense of identity. I think it’s an affront to certain people’s sense of identity. I think it’s wrapped into this whole issue about marginalized voices.

The full interview (including further information – check it out – about the recently-established Allen Foundation) may be read here


dead Fingers talk

We’ve been focusing a lot of late on William Burroughs here on The Allen Ginsberg Project (and why not? – his voice, prophetic in its time, comes to seem ever more prophetic) – 2020 was initially projected as a stellar Burroughs year – the 60th anniversary of the “cut-ups”.  Regretfully, the International Cut-Up Conference scheduled for London and Paris in September has had to be cancelled (or rather, postponed). Meantime, we’re happy to announce the (re)publication (in a newly restored edition, based on the novel’s archival manuscripts) of one of the classic cut-up texts –  Dead Fingers Talk (edited with an introduction by Oliver Harris) – See here for more details

And another valuable re-print – Philip Whalen‘s Scenes of Life At The Capitol (now in a new expanded edition from Wave Books (featuring, in this edition, some of Philip’s wonderful drawings, and edited, with an afterword, by David Brazil)

Beat Scene – Kevin Ring’s Beat Scene has a new issue out – issue 97!


also soon out from Beat Scene Press – Bill Butler and Unicorn Books by Terry Adams.
(Butler was the ex-pat American who significantly livened up transatlantic transmission in the ’60’s and early ’70’s with his legendary Unicorn Bookstore and press (famously busted for obscenity) in Brighton).  Among Unicorn’s titles:

More on London in the ’60’s, and the legendary 1965 Royal Albert Hall Poetry Incarnation. – Scarlett Sabat reviews that at length for The London Magazine – here 

Allen Ginsberg, pointing at the Albert Hall, London, 1965 – photo: John “Hoppy” Hopkins

Elise Cowen –  sometime lover of Allen. There’s Tony Trigilio’s definitive volume that was gathered a few years ago (now sadly out-of-print)

– Read Spanish translations of her poems and fragments – here

Countdown to The Fall of America Journals ( November pub. date)

& Alex Katzs birthday today – 93 – 93! – Happy Birthday Alex!

Alex Katz. Allen Ginsberg, 1986. Oil on linen. 48 x 144 inches.

One comment

  1. I was in a poetry workshop given by Allen in San Jose in about 1994. I remember watching Allen closely as one young participant presented a poem with an innocent, yet honorific description about daring to try Peyote, and Heroine, making all kinds of fresh-faced “Just Say No” cultural assumptions about the ‘significance’ of the drug experience. I thought sure I’d see Allen smirk, or get pissed-off, or get on a soap box, but – none of that. He treated the young man and the poem respectfully, at face value. He showed me that lived afresh, in the cultural moment where he breathed – with the wisdom that came to him in the past, but not within the past.

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