Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 578

“Siesta in the Arctic – The Forgotten Alaska link to Allen Ginsberg and  the Beat Generation”  by David Reamer, published in the Anchorage Daily News this week, spotlights Allen’s great poem, “Siesta at Xbalba”  (“his first stand-alone published work”)

“On July 28, 1956, off the coast of Alaska, he (Allen) typed a final version of “Siesta at Xbalba” and printed 52 copies on the ship’s mimeograph machine, stapling the copies together on the side. The cover notes, “As Published By The Author July 1956 Near ICY CAPE, ALASKA at the Sign of the Midnight Sun.” Perhaps in his hurry, he misspelled “Xibalba,” an area in the Chiapas region of southeastern Mexico, as “Xbalba.” Though he soon realized the error, Ginsberg maintained the spelling in future publications. It was dedicated to Karena Shields, an archeologist and former actress who owned a cocoa finca near Palenque, Mexico, where Ginsberg spent many weeks during his southern sojourn.”

We’ve featured it before but here’s the cover of one of the copies, the copy he presented to his friend, Gary Snyder


Gary Snyder, who earlier this month celebrated his 94th birthday, can be seen (in this recently uploaded video (an interview and reading in Los Angeles from “the late 80s or early 90’s”)

and, more recently, (last night!) in the big Alta/California Book Club celebration – here 


Beat legend, Charles Plymell recently celebrated his 89th birthday and has a new book,
Over The Stage of Kansas – New and Selected Poems 1966-2023, (edited and with a forward
by Gerard Malanga), just out.
Jan Herman writes about it and about Plymell here.
Tomorrow, at one o’clock, there’s a book release and book signing at the Park Theater (up-state New York, Hudson). Charley will be reading.



& Monday, in San Francisco), City Lights and Lithic Press will be celebrating Neeli Cherkovski. The occasion is the posthumous publication of his Selected Poems 1959-2022  

Moderated by Danny Rosen and the book’s editor, Kyle Harvey the evening will feature readings by Patrick Dunagan, Sarah Menefee, Aggie Falk, Tate Swindell, Scott Bird, Garrett Caples, Marina Lazzara and Jessica Loos.

This event will be held in-store at City Lights. It will also be broadcast on Zoom.


& next Friday – 24th of May – at The Tabernacle in London – a  celebration of John “Hoppy” Hopkins, key player in the Sixties Counterculture – see here. The Tabernacle will be transformed for one night only into the legendary “UFO” club and there will be an exclusive preview screening of Malcolm Boyle and Carl Stickley‘s  long-in-the-making documentary  Hoppy Underground Head

We’re really looking forward to this one.

The film “lets the candid voices of Hoppy and underground contemporaries give uninterrupted authentic accounts of the scene that transformed Britain”

Before the screening “UFO” members will be treated to a lightshow from 60s liquid lights veteran Neil Rice. Afterwards there will be a Q&A panel with film-makers and friends and collaborators of Hoppy’s from throughout his life.”

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