Ginsberg at PennSound

We’ve sung the praises of the incomparable PennSound here on The Allen Ginsberg Project many times –  the extraordinary project spearheaded by poet-professor Charles Bernstein, the indefatigable Al Filreis, and fellow-director Chris Mustazza.  Twenty-one years in now, and still very much an ongoing project, a remarkable, and remarkably comprehensive, gathering of audio recordings of poets and poetry readings, lovingly assembled,
an absolutely indispensable archive.

Allen’s PennSound page is here 

Daily announcements (spotlights and indications where to go) are provided by PennSound’s knowledgeable long-time editor, Michael S Hennessey
The PennSound Daily archive is available (and invaluable) – here 

Last week he drew our attention to this forgotten 1978 Buffalo reading,

Well here’s Michael’s note:

Here‘s a rather interesting gathering of authors gathered in one room thanks to the influence of the one and only Robert Creeley, whose reel to reel tape archives provided the recording.

This nearly two-hour event, taking place at the Allentown Community Center in Buffalo, NY on October 6, 1978, featured a line-up of literary critic Leslie Fiedler, Canadian/Romanian poet Irving Layton, author and editor Allen DeLoach, and Allen Ginsberg, who’s joined by Peter Orlovsky in song.

Amongst a diverse set of voices – conscious of being “mischpokhe” (Yiddish for all part of the same family) as Ginsberg acknowledges – one of the more noteworthy is Fiedler, not typically thought of as a poet, who reads a handful of poems ….
Ginsberg’s set draws largely from his then-latest collection, Mind Breaths (1977), beginning with a powerful reading of “Don’t Grow Old”, his elegy to his father, Louis Ginsberg (who’s also mentioned fondly in Fiedler’s between-poem comments), complete with a harmonium-accompanied rendition of “Father Death Blues.” In his introductory comments, Ginsberg indicates that he’s written new additions to this poem while in Buffalo, and indeed, here the poem later published as “‘Don’t Grow Old,'” in Plutonian Ode – its first two parts written two days prior in Amherst, MA, while its conclusion was written the day before – is here treated as a continuation of the former poem, with its three sections numbered as parts eight, nine, and ten. He concludes his first set in a very different mode with the raucous “Punk Rock Your My Big Crybaby.” For his second set he’s joined by Orlovsky to perform “two compositions dealing with wrath” – William Blake’s “The Tyger, and “Plutonian Ode,” written the previous summer, which is given a lavish introduction here, spelling out its influences and intentions. For serious Ginsberg scholars and more casual fans, this is certainly a historic performance worth checking out.”

For our back-in-April 2015 posting/transcription of this Ginsberg reading – see here

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