Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 313

[Allen Ginsberg reading and lecturing in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, 1993]

Allen’s new book, The Best Minds of My Generation, selections from Allen’s lectures (not to be confused with the lectures transcribed here on the Allen Ginsberg Project), “mercifully reduced to 455 pages, shorn of repetitions, student interventions and Ginsberg’s habit of beginning every sentence with “So” – (sic) – as the reviewer in the London Times would have it) continues to impress one and all.

Here’s an excerpt from Gaby Wood‘s review in London’s Daily Telegraph:

“Lovingly edited from recordings by Bill Morgan, who has … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 311

[Hal Chase, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Morningside Heights, next to Columbia College, New York City, Winter 1944-45. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

The Best Minds of My Generation – A Literary History of the Beats – Bill Morgan’s masterly collection of Allen’s teaching wisdom   (from Naropa and Brooklyn College) appears today (official publication-day) from Grove Press (Grove Atlantic).

Here’s a few lines from Anne Waldman‘s lucid introduction:

“Allen Ginsberg devotedly, and with a loving perseverance, incubated these lectures on his primary literary Beat colleagues during his first teaching job at … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 309

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition.  Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book.   Reviews are already highly positive:

Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More

Instigating the Howl Trial – March 25, 1957

Sixty years ago today, the US Customs, in the person of Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated five-hundred-and-twenty copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”  – a pivotal moment  

From Bill Morgan‘s  Howl on Trial – The Battle for Free Expression:

“The Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated 520 copies [of Howl ] because, as he said, “The words and the sense of the writing is obscene…you wouldn’t want your children to come across it.”   U.S. Customs Law required a Federal Judge, upon application of the U.S. Attorney,  to grant permission to destroy the books. But, as [City Lights publisher, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 304

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[Allen Ginsberg “signing a book at Harry Smith‘s funeral with his montblanc pen”, 1991 – Photograph © Thomas Peters]

Michael Schumachers collection of miscellaneous Ginsberg interviews, First Thought, as we mentioned last week, will be published very soon. Meantime, it’s worth considering Schumacher’s other titles, his masterly distillation of The Essential Ginsberg (out from Harpers in 2015), his remarkable edit of the Ginsberg father-son letters, Family Business, (2001)  and his monumental biography, Dharma Lion (1994,recently re-issued by University of Minnesota Press in an expanded edition, 2016)

A recent review of the latter  the new edition … Read More

First Thought – Conversations With Allen Ginsberg

imageVery happy to announce a new Allen Ginsberg book, due out next month from the University of Minnesota Press, Michael Schumacher’s First Thought – Conversations With Allen Ginsberg, an inspiring collection of transcripts and rarely-seen interviews.

From the publisher’s web-site:  “Here, through previously-uncollected interviews, we encounter Allen Ginsberg elaborating on how speech, as much as writing and reading, and even poetry, is an act of art. Revealing, enlightening, and often just plain entertaining. Allen Ginsberg in conversation is the quintessential twentieth-century American poet as we have never before encountered him; fully present in pitch-perfect detail.”

“Testifying before a Senate … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 299

The Best Minds of My Generation – Very pleased to announce a new Allen Ginsberg publication (due out in April)  from Grove Press – “A Literary History of the Beats” –  (“A unique and compelling history of the Beats, in the words of the movements most central member, Allen Ginsberg, based on a seminal series of his lectures”), edited, (as judiciously and informatively as ever), by Beat scholar, and our good friend, Bill Morgan

From the Grove Press web-site:

“In 1977, twenty years after the publication of his landmark poem “Howl” and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Allen Ginsberg … Read More

Wait Till I’m Dead

2016 sees upcoming (next month!) the publication of Wait Till I’m Dead – UnCollected Poems, the new (posthumous) book of poems by Allen Ginsberg.

Here are the blurbs:

“Ginsberg has been one of the most influential poets in America in our time….a spectacular career” (New York Times Book Review)

“Ginsberg is both tragic and dynamic, a lyrical genius, con man extraordinaire, and probably the single greatest influence on American poetic voice since Whitman” (Bob Dylan)

“Sooner or later anyone interested in American poetry must embrace Allen Ginsberg” (Houston Chronicle)

“(Ginsberg) wrote any number of splendid singular poems … Read More

Eliot Katz – The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg

Eliot Katz‘s new book, The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg is now out from David Wills’ Beatdom books.  For more details, see here  Read his earlier response – (an unpublished letter to the New York Times)  “Ginsberg Apolitical?  I don’t think so” hereMore of Eliot-on-Allen here and hereKurt Hemmer writes:

The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg is the most engaging and rigorous analysis of Ginsberg’s political poetry yet attempted. We find in these psges the astuteness of a literary critic, the contextualization of a social historian, the knowledge of a veteran political activist, … Read More

Jack Kerouac’s Funeral

 
Allen Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac’s Funeral – Photograph by Jeff Albertson

October 24, 1969. It was a Friday. Forty-six years ago. Lowell, Mass, Jack Kerouac‘s funeral –  Archambault Funeral Home to the service at St. Jean Baptiste Church (presided over by Father Morissette) then off to the leafy graves at Edson Cemetery.  Bill Tremblay‘s perceptive poem about the occasion can be read here Here’s Allen with John Clellon Holmes at the grave-site  (and, on the right, in shadow, Gregory Corso)

and another of Jeff Albertson‘s evocative shots (Gregory, with Allen in the background)
 
Allen helps … Read More