Shakespeare‘s Birthday today. This effigy above his grave in the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, once described by the critic J. Dover Wilson as that of a ” self-satisfied pork butcher”, has now been revealed to be modelled from life by a sculptor, a tomb-maker, (Nicholas Johnson), who actually knew him.
Professor Lena Cowen Orlin, the author of the discovery, a professor of English at Georgetown University is quoted: “It is highly likely that Shakespeare commissioned the monument. It was done by someone who knew him and had seen him in life. We can think of it as a kind of life portrait, a design for death that gives evidence of a life of learning and literature.”
and Dr. Paul Edmondson, head of research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford: – “This is truly significant. We can therefore say that is how Shakespeare wanted to be represented in our memories. This is massive. It is compelling new light on what he looked like and how he operated.”
For more on this story – see here
For more on Shakespeare on The Allen Ginsberg Project – see here
Gary Snyder, ninety years old (his ninety-first birthday is next month), was recorded earlier this month reading two classic poems (“Where” (from Myths and Texts) and “The North Coast”) for the 5th Annual Sierra Poetry Festival – Kai Snyder, his son, recorded the poems in their home, and Beth Ford, designer and webmaster for the Festival, incorporated them into this delightful short film:
Michael McClure’s Mule Kick Blues (noted here last week) – Editor, Garrett Caples, writes of his experience of McClure and of editing the book (“Because Michael had been a famous poet for so long, he risked being taken for granted and I wanted readers to see him with fresh eyes”) – here
Helen Weaver‘s passing, aged 90, this past April 13, in Woodstock, a remarkable woman and an important chronicler of Beat history (see her The Awakener: A Memoir of Kerouac and the ’50s), should also be noted. Here‘s the posting we made on the occasion of its publication.
“He was responsible to Life/He was responsible to America and we should be so lucky to have one like him again”
(addenda – see also her obituary in the New York Times – here )
Lawrence Ferlinghetti celebration next Wednesday (April 28) – The San Francisco Chronicle presents ‘a multimedia evening of poetry, song, art, and literature honoring the life and words of the late, great San Francisco poet, activist, and bookstore owner”. Full details – see here
See also Tony Bravo on “Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Presence in San Francisco Remembered” – here and Gary Kamiya – “Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Place in San Francisco Literary History” (also from the Chronicle) – here – the abiding memory of City Lights maestro, Lawrence Ferlinghetti!