Montreal, 1969 Q & A – 19 (Conclusion)

Student: : Do you consider marijuana or tripping a good alternative to the pain of life and the terror of death?

AG: Do I consider marijuana or tripping a good alternative to pain of life, the fear or terror of death? – No, actually, marijuana… If anything, it will augment, or increase, or amplify, the anxiety, the realization, (or at least that’s what I’ve found).

The problem is that.. death is not terror, to be feared – Pain, physical pain, bodily pain, might be scary, you know – or.. painful (but…)

I think, probably, the result of some experiences with … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Montreal 1989 Q & A part 7 (Kerouac)

[A flyer from the 2009 production in New York of Larry Myers play –“Jack Kerouac: Catholic” – “He (Jack) was proud of being a Canuck Catholic” (Allen Ginsberg)]

Q: May I (now) ask you another question?

AG Yeah

Q: Jack Kerouac abandoned his Catholicism, which was the Church in which he had been brought up. You mentioned that, and at the same time, you coupled it with a statement that seemed to suggest that you are returning to a Kabbalistic or Hassidic tradition. How do you reconcile a return to a traditional Jewish root with an enthusiastic interest in … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Montreal 1969 Q & A 6 (Drugs)

[Allen Ginsberg, 1966 poster from San Francisco advertising the famous Ken Kesey Acid Tests]

Q: What is your present [1989] thinking about drugs?

AG: Well, it looks like marijuana will slowly be legalized in the United States (since grandmother Margaret Mead came out for it the other day! ). So I saw an AP dispatch yesterday that said that Governor Kirk of Florida called her “a dirty old lady”

Q: (He)..said she should be locked up with all the other degenerates!

AG: Yeah

Q: But what was it about the stronger stuff?

AG: And then crime in New York … Read More

More Kerouac – 2

[Jack Kerouac, Tangier Morocco, 1957. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

Q: Gregory Corso, (in several of his) remarks referred to (the first) conversations he’s had with Jack Kerouac…

Gregory Corso: Yeah

Q: And I was wondering…

GC: I think it was more of a feeling he had towards things, that I was raised Catholic and that he was raised Catholic, it had a kind of bond to it. Peter (Orlovsky)? – Peter was raised Catholic?

AG: No

GC: No, that’s it. So in the ball-game there was (William) Burroughs, who was an Anglo, there was the Jew-Boy, and, what … Read More

More Kerouac

[Three paperback covers for Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel The Dharma Bums]

Last weekend we featured the Naropa panel at the 1983 Kerouac Conference on Jack Kerouac’s Buddhism and Catholicism. We continue today. Participation from Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, John Clellon Holmes, Gerald Nicosia, Osel Tendzin (tomorrow) & Anne Waldman.

AG: Don’t go away, Gregory
GC: It’s not over?
AG: Shall we have some conversation between ourselves?.. and then with the audience?
– Is there anybody who, staying on stage, wants to respond to anything or has any other statements?
Gregory Corso : Ah, the cross thing.  Later on … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Montreal, 1969 – (Q & A – 4)

Q : Is it true what they say about all these guys, who criticize, in the ‘Fifties, like in J.D Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye,  Holden Caulfield – Were they all “Holden Caulfields”, all these idealists?

AG: Well, sir, everybody was kind of stupefied, you know – about sex, for instance, I mean, nowadays [1968], Holden Caulfield would have a little sexual adventure. Nowadays, young kids get much more information. Everything’s much more open, you know. Nobody is…. The imagery is there, as it is in a primitive community, or there is in a farm community, where kids see cows … Read More

A Jack Kerouac Weekend – 2

[Jack Kerouac’s original hand-drawn cover for On The Road]

[Jack Kerouac photographed by Allen Ginsberg – caption reads: Jack Kerouac wandering along East 7th street after visiting Burroughs at our pad, passing statue of Congressman Samuel “Sunset” Cox, “The Letter-Carrier’s Friend” in Tompkins Square toward corner of Avenue A, Lower East Side; he’s making a Dostoyevsky mad-face or Russian basso be-bop Om, first walking around the neighborhood, then involved with The Subterraneans, pencils & notebook in wool shirt-pockets, Fall 1953, Manhattan.]

Allen Ginsberg: I might as well supplement what Gregory said about the mussed hair and the crucifix … Read More

Jack Kerouac’s Birthday – A Jack Kerouac Weekend

Celebrating Jack Kerouac‘s birthday today on the Allen Ginsberg Project.

See here for some of our earlier Kerouac birthday celebrations and Kerouac celebrations – and here – and here – and here – and here – and here

Today, we thought to celebrate via transcription of a hitherto untranscribed panel at the 1982 Jack Kerouac On The Road Conference. The focus was Kerouac’s Catholicism and Buddhism.

Allen introduces the proceedings:

AG: Fellow celebrants, fellow poets, fellow sentient beings. Welcome to the discussion of Kerouac, Catholicism and Buddhism, and we have an all-star cast lined up – a terrific … Read More

Creeley and Coolidge on Kerouac Q & A



Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

from CoolidgeCreeley-Warren Tallman panel at the Kerouac Conference at Naropa, 1981 Clark Coolidge: Questions anyone? ……

Questioner: I just have one that relates personally. I’m from Montreal and Jack (Kerouac) did a lot of traveling around, and also, obviously, his family and the French-Canadian connection was very important, but I’m not sure..if he ever traveled in Quebec…I just wonder.. I wonder if you know of any (time) in his travels he ever made it to Quebec and why his… Does anybody know anything about that? –  and why he never made it … Read More

Gregory Corso Interviews

Another of the summer’s essential books (we’re only just now getting round to profiling it

Rick Schober‘s stellar collection of the Collected Interviews with Gregory Corso

over a dozen pieces, plus an illuminating memoir-introduction by Dick Brukenfeld, (Corso’s first publisher, of the 1955 Harvard volume, The Vestal Lady on Brattle), plus footnotes, index, dramatis personae… a faithful capturing of that irascible, wayward, prison-smart, poetics-smart, uniquely vocal, unapologetic, Beat poet   Corso, in 1980, to a patient and respectful poet-interviewer, Gavin Selerie: “But if you take this tape here and transcribe it, people will read it on the page – … Read More