Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 220

Allen Ginsberg’s FBI files


                                        [Allen Ginsberg in Cuba with a plane shot down in The Bay of Pigs]

We are immensely grateful to Shawn Musgrave and MuckRock for the recent (April, 2015) release by the FBI, (following a Freedom of Information Act request first filed in November, 2012), of 89 pages of investigative documents held in government files on Allen Ginsberg.  As MuckRock pointedly notes, “The agency’s response letter indicated that there may be additional FBI files pertaining to Ginsberg, but that a search for the missing records “met with unsuccessful results” and that other documents may have been transfered to the National

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 217


[Lawrence Ferlinghetti standing outside his “Banned Books” display at  City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, in the early 1950’s]

The David Olio “Please Master” Censorship case – some update.  Steve Silberman, over at Our Allen, has been doing sterling work marshalling (sadly necessary) some defense.  An enthusiastic highly-regarded Connecticut high-school teacher lost his job. 


[David Olio]

Here’s word from someone not unfamiliar with defending Allen Ginsberg and free speech issues – Lawrence Ferlinghetti “As the original publisher of Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, City Lights Books fully supports David Olio as a high school teacher of poetry. We … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 215


Next week (next Tuesday) is  Hal Willner’s LA “Howl” extravaganza.

The following day is Earth Day – courtesy WNYC’s Spinning on Air, in New York, at The Greene Space  there’ll be an Earth Day Special with Patti Smith, Anne Waldman, Laurie Anderson and others – A live web-cast of the event will be available here.    The following day –  Thursday April the 9th – (for all you poètes maudits) is Charles Baudelaire‘s birthday.

Tomorrow (April the 4th)  Chogyam Trungpa‘s Parinirvana.

This Sunday at City Lights, Marc Olmsted reads (in honor … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 211

Legendary film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy MountainSanta Sangre, Dune etc), recalls his meeting with Allen Ginsberg (he speaks in Spanish with Italian translation) – An English translation of Jodorowsky’s comments follows here:   AJ: “I see Allen Ginsberg arriving [in Paris] in winter with a small t-shirt, ripped jeans, wearing espadrilles and with mad hair and no luggage – nothing! – He was staring, like this  [Jodorowsky imitates Allen looking around, searching] – “Hey, I know’re Allen Ginsberg” – “Yes” – “What are you up to?” – [Allen] – “The thing is Fidel Read More

Théâtre de Poche – (AG on Stage Nudity)


Roger Domani founded the politically engaged Théâtre de Poche in Brussels (Belgium) in 1951. Allen was on hand in 1976 for the  25-year celebration. The Théâtre de Poche had famously produced a stage adaptation of his Kaddish in 1967 

[Stage Nudity – The Living Theatre – Paradise Now, 1967]

Allen is seen (and heard) here chanting – “AH” – and making the following declaration:  What seems strange and shocking perhaps in 1945 or (19)55 seems usable, workable now as, for instance, a few years ago, twenty years ago, we all had the dream of people naked on stage, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 204

Herbert Huncke Centennial Celebrations at the Beat Museum today – Laki VazakasHilary HolladayBen SchaferDennis McNally, Brenda Knight, Regina Marler and Tate Swindell look back upon and discuss Herbert Huncke’s genius.  Two weeks since the last Friday Round-Up, so a bit of catching up to do.  Here’s (talking of the Beat Museum), the meeting-up of Gerd Stern (the man erroneously accused of losing it) and Mike McQuate, the man largely responsible for saving it – tho’, as others have pointed out, Jean Spinosa should also be credited with exemplary dispersal of her … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 116 (Jeff Nightbyrd)

AG: [turning to Jeff Nightbyrd] – You knew George Demerly [FBI informant]?.

Jeff Nightbyrd:  Very well AG: This, incidentally, is Jeff Nightbyrd, who was the editor of the New York Rat and the Dallas… 

Jeff Nightbyrd: Austin AG: Austin Sun

Austin Sun Jeff Nightbyrd: (and)  New Left Notes

AG: New Left Notes Jeff Nightbyrd: Right AG: And an early Weatherman, weren’t you? Jeff Nightbyrd:  No, I never was one of them. AG: You weren’t in it? Jeff Nightbyrd:  Austin Rag AG: Austin Rag. And we were all in jail together in 1972 protesting  Nixon in Miami, for a couple

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January, 1959 – The Big Table Howl

photo: chicago review

[Irving Rosenthal & staff at Chicago Review]

 Clockwise: Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Paul Carrol, Chicago at time of Big Table reading, January 1959. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

[Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Carroll, Peter Orlovsky, Chicago, 1959 – Photograph  courtesy Allen Ginsberg Collection]

[The first issue of Big Table]

The 1959 Big Table Chicago reading of “Howl” is our special feature this weekend.  A recording of this historic reading is available here (“Footnote to  Howl” is here) Also read on that occasion were “Sunflower Sutra”, “A Supermarket in California”, “Transcription of Organ Music”, “America”, “In Back of the Real”, “A Strange New Cottage in Berkeley“, “Europe! Europe!” and “Kaddish, part 1“ … Read More

Investigative Poetics – 10 (Conclusion)

[James Jesus Angleton  (1917-1987), Chief of the CIA’s Counter-Intelligence Staff 1954-1975]

AG: Well, ok, what does all this mean? [all this COUNTELPRO information]  – It means that.. Well, one thing it means that, see, their budget was enormous.I mean they had seven billion dollars a year, the CIA alone had seven billion. So there was a budget of anywhere between seven and twenty billion, who knows?  to employ millions of secretaries and lots of telephone bills, automobile bills, cars, mimeograph machines, people to write letters, specialists, agents who would analyze other agents work.  Almost every move that was made in … Read More