Ryan Mathews on “The Many Lives of LeRoi Jones”
Randy Rhody recalling first impressions of Allen’s 1966 visit to the University of Nebraska:
“I was less than starstruck when I got my first look at the famous poet, not more than twenty feet from me. He was going on forty, only a year older than my dad, jelly-bellied and unimposing. His straggly dark hair was nearly shoulder-length but balding in front with a few remaining strands brushed across. He had a bushy beard and black-rimmed glasses. He was dumpy-looking in khakis and canvas shoes, a wrinkled white shirt with a couple of pens clipped into the pocket, and a rumpled tweed sport coat. So that’s what a real Beat poet looked like, I thought.
David S Wills, the editor, on Allen’s poem “The Change” (the theme of this issue):
“Ginsberg had for decades existed in a state of uncertainty, unhappiness, and often self-loathing. In 1945, he had told Jack Kerouac, “I do not wish to escape to myself, I wish to escape from myself,” but in 1963, after returning to the US, he said “I seem finally to have returned back into my body after many years absence – I think the Indian Gurus did it.” The opening of the poem then alludes to a new beginning, a new Allen Ginsberg. It marks the great dividing line in his life. Everything that had happened before it was a part of his education. It had all led to this realisation and change.
John Pratt recalling a brief meeting with Gregory Corso on the patio at Café Floor
– and more (so much more!) – in the new issue (issue #21) of Beatdom – “The Change Issue”
For a brief overview (complete listing) of the magazine – see here
Omnivore’s Reed College Howl recording (you have your copy yet?) continues to get a justifiably enthusiastic response
The Beats and Morocco – Tangier Interzone – Abdelaziz Taleb, director of the Arab Media Lab, has instigated an impressive streaming-film program (two films already up, and more to follow, available on line) that is well worth catching. See here
“During the “Interzone” times in Tangier, the East met the West in a debacle of utter incomprehension, each one waiting for the Other’s Answer, the Secret, without being able to find it, because neither one nor the other had it. For some, it was a place of intercultural encounters, and for many others, rather, the place of a debacle, which signals the failure of the “culturalist” approach to reality.”
In this film series, rare indeed, the phenomena is seen and presented from a uniquely Moroccan perspective. The series will continue through until the end of June
Big announcement, Ai Weiwei’s memoir One Thousand Years of Joys and Sorrows is set for November publication, featuring, of course, description of his early years and his early friendship and time in New York with Allen. Also, the book will delve into his relationship with his father, noted poet Ai Qing, who was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. A book of Ai Qing’s poetry is also coming out in November (with a cover by Ai Weiwei’s son, Ai Lao).
We mentioned last week the San Francisco Chronicle‘s celebration of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Here‘s another one, a Zoom event that took place this past Monday, hosted by Magnus Toren at the Henry Miller Library – Guests in order of appearance – Joan Gelfand, Jerry Cimino, Dana Carnazzo, El Habib Louai, Jim Sampas, Jack Hirschman, Steve Heilig, Judy Wells and Ben Gibbard.
R.I.P. two important counter-cultural warriors this week -a fearless editor-publisher and a pioneering radio personality – Bob Fass and Fred Jordan – For Bob Fass – see here, here, here and here . For Fred Jordan, Barney Rosset‘s right-hand man and Grove Press editor in its halcyon days and guiding spirit for the legendary Evergreen Review – see here