Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 318

Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s birth tomorrow. Anne Waldman and guests will be celebrating it at the Fox Theatre in Boulder

Meanwhile in NYC (from 3-9) at the Howl Happening Gallery (also celebrating the upcoming re-release of the Ginsberg-Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience on CD)  – Ed Sanders, Steven Taylor, Ernie Brooks & Bear 54 and readings by Bob Rosenthal, Bob Holman, Hettie Jones, David Henderson, Basil King, & other surprise guests.

Speaking of Anne Waldman, how about this? – the Anne Waldman comic! – “the story of Anne Waldman in her … Read More

Ginsberg in India


Jeet Thayil‘s radio documentary, Ginsberg in India, currently available here,

provides the occasion for a brief review of that always-intriguing subject. 
American poet, Bob Holman (along with producer-editor-director, Ram Devineni), a few years back, made a film-documentary, Ginsberg’s Karma
(This may be seen in its entirety here
Deborah Baker‘s authoritative book, A Blue Hand, we’ve already featured (along with notice of the remarkable symposium that took place at the Asia Society in New York, in 2011, following the publication of that book). 
And, of course, there’s the primary source, Allen’s own published … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 174


Wild in Denver – Neal Cassady’s Teen Years by Charlie Hailer

News from New York – it seems that this summer’s regular Howl! Festival won’t be happening this year.  More on that story here – and here  No HOWL! this spring. News from the HOWL! Festival Board:Due to circumstances beyond our control, HOWL! Festival 2014, originally scheduled for May 30 thru June 1, has been postponed. New dates will be announced as soon as available. Steve Cannon will continue as Poet laureate and will rule at the next HOWL, whenever that is. It’s Tompkins Sq Park bureaucracy, IMHO — HOWL has never been supported like the Treasure that it is. In memoriam –  here is a group reading of “Howl” (from the 2010 Howl! Fest) and here is “Plutonian Ode” (from the following year, likewise ensemble).

File:Harry Smith 1985.jpg Amanda Petrusich (from a forthcoming book) on Harry Smith and the legendary American Folk Music anthology

Next Thursday, Thursday May 1st, at London’s Horse Hospital, a book launch for Joe Ambrose and A.D.Hitchin’s Read More

Manhattan Poetry Video Project 1984

Rose Lesniak’s Manhattan Poetry Video Project, from 1984 (three poetry-videos, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Bob Holman) was, unquestionably, pioneering in its time. This was a good decade-and-more before the United States of Poetry, and the subsequent rise and development of now-ubiquitous video technology (a good two-decades-and-more before, even, the baby-steps of You Tube!) Allen’s contribution, reading “Father Death Blues”, is particularly poignant, because the film shoot was on Ellis Island (the old Ellis Island, before it had been refurbished and given its $156 million make-over/restoration) “Father Death, Don’t cry any more/Mama’s there, underneath the floor/ … Read More

Oo Bop Sh’bam At The Poetry Slam 1997

 February 20, 1997, fifteeen years ago today, Allen gave what turned out to be his last public performance at the first-ever NYU (New York University) Poetry Slam – “Oo Bop Sh’bam/ At the poetry slam/Scream & yell/At the poetry ball/ Get in a rage/On the poetry stage…” (this poem, a little bit of doggerel that he composed, almost a month later, recollecting the event, is one of the last poems he ever wrote, and is included in the concluding pages of his posthumous collection, Death and Fame).
Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club m-c, recalls the evening: “Bob Read More

Allen Ginsberg reading “Personals Ad” – (ASV #24)

Bob Holman, Joshua Blum and Mark Pellington’s 1995 5-part t.v. series, the United States of Poetry presented and projected a pretty eclectic range (to show – citing Whitman’s famous term – the diversity of “these states”) – from ex-President Jimmy Carter to “rock n roll animal” Lou Reed (would that count as a range?), from Amiri Baraka to Johnny Depp – video vignettes (under Pellington’s expert direction). Not surprising (in fact, essential) that the show feature(d) Allen – in this case, reading/enacting his “Personals Ad” – “Poet professor in autumn years/ seeks helpmate companion protector friend…” The poem would … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 30

[Ai Weiwei – Books on a table/Allen on the phone – contact-sheet photographs from the exhibition, Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993. via SlamXhype]
This week’s big story? Well, that would have to be the “release”, on Wednesday, after 60 days of detention of noted Chinese dissident, Ai Weiwei (We’d draw your attention to our original coverage here). Once again, are doing a pretty good job of keeping track of all the breaking news. Edward Wong’s Wednesday New York Times article can be found here.
“I’m released, I’m home, I’m fine”, the artist is quoted … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 25

Natalie Goldbergs “Talk When You Talk, Cry When You Cry: Thoughts On My Teacher is old news (it was written in 2006) but, in that felicitous phrase of Ezra Pound’s, it’s “news that stays news”.  “He’s been dead for nine years”, she writes (it’s fourteen now) “and I miss him..”..All over again I want to honor him..” Well, honor him we will/honor him we do. His 85th birthday is coming up. The Bob Holman-inspired “Ginsberg Turn On’s” have begun (an initiative we noted here earlier) – Sophia Holman dons glasses to read, flawlessly, Allen’s poem, “The

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 18

[Allen Ginsberg 25th Anniversary Reading of Howl, 1981 – photo by Marvin Moore]

Marvin Moore’s extraordinary picture of an ecstatic Allen reading from Howl at Columbia University in 1981, on the occasion of the poem’s 25th anniversary, heads up our weekly round-up. Further images (a studio portrait (from 1985), two portraits of Allen in the street (from the same day) and Allen and Peter in Halifax, Nova Scotia (1992) can be accessed here. Check out his website for more indepth look at his work.

Two new Allen biographies that we’re looking forward to – Well, Steve FinbowRead More

Allen Ginsberg’s Personal Ad

A good response to the posting of Bob Holman’s “Poetry Spot” (Allen Ginsberg Does Tai Chi) last week. So here’s another one. This, from his 1996 PBS series, The United States of Poetry. Allen reads (and acts out) his bitter-sweet late poem, ”Personals Ad” (from Cosmopolitan Greetings) . F.y.i., that young man in his skivvies just might be our very own Peter Hale! The text of the poem can be read here – And perhaps we should also point out that this poem was one of twelve of Allen’s chosen for Random House’s audiobook, The Voice of Read More