Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 381

[Allen Ginsberg & Kate Millett, Boulder Colorado, July 1978 (photo: probably snapped by Cynthia MacAdams with Allen’s camera, courtesy Stanford University Libraries/Allen Ginsberg Estate)]

The Beats and Women – that continually thorny topic (we noted last week Blair Hurley’s Paris Review article – You might also recall Lynnette Lounsbury’s piece in The Guardian, a few years back – and, indeed, Amy Newman’s “Howl” (sic)) – David S Wills’ piece in the current Beatdom, in this context, comprehensive and scholarly, is well worth a read – “Beats and Women – “The Personal is Political” –  tentative notes on … Read More

Elazar Larry Freifeld Tel Aviv 1988 Interview

[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall.  Photograph by Steven Taylor]

Allen Ginsberg in Israel.

This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.

LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].

AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More

Charles Reznikoff (Te Deum)

[Charles Reznikoff. Photo: Abraham Ravett]


Not because of victories I sing, having none, but for the common sunshine, the breeze, the largess of the spring.

Not for victory but for the day’s work done as well as I was able, not for a seat upon the dais but at the common table.

(Charles Reznikoff ( 1894-1976)

Hear Reznikoff reading this poem – here.  Hear other readings by Reznikoff  – here

Charles Reznikoff‘s birthday today. Our last year’s (2016) posting is a must-visit.

 … Read More

Objectivism at Michigan Poetry Conference , 1973

Our feature today – the extraordinary gathering on Objectivist poetics that took place in 1973 in Allendale Michigan and Allen’s participation in it. We are indebted to the labors (both with video and transcription) of Steel Wagstaff. His introduction to the occasion (on the poetry-site, Dispatches)  may be read here. Below is some transcription of Allen’s contribution (his engagement with Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, and George Oppen). For a complete transcript (provided by Wagstaff) – see here

[Seidman House, Grand Valley State College, Allendale, Michigan, 1973]

Charles Reznikoff: Oh I say., May I suggest, isn’t … Read More

Charles Reznikoffs Birthday

[Charles Reznikoff – Photograph by Abraham Ravett]

It’s Charles Reznikoff‘s birthday.

For more Charles Reznikoff postings on the Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and here,

and here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here and here (a thirteen-part series of Naropa lectures from 1978 that we recently featured on the great master)

and should you want more Ginsberg-on-Reznikoff:

here, here, here

Shall we go on? ….

Suffice, it is to say, that for Allen, Reznikoff was one of the … Read More

The Tradition of Reznikoff & Williams

[Allen continues with his 1981 Naropa class, drawing distinctions between the poetry of  David Cope and that of  William Carlos Williams, placing him closer to Charles Reznikoff’s work]

AG:… that Williams was still preoccupied by some kind of modernism, some kind of Cubist abstraction, whereas Cope was really direct, (writing) just simply directly, writing out of his… ( – Allen is distracted – is that gone around all the way, this paper?)….whereas Cope was directly writing out of his eyesight and his… I think he’s more close too … Read More

Basic Poetics 6 – (Actual Perception v Pure Bullshit)

Student: (I think) his style (David Cope‘s style) puts forth the position of being an observer rather than it being (creative). Instead of things coming out of the mind, the poet simply reflects what he sees..)AG: I think it’s a semantic question, actually. I mean, you know, he doesn’t simply reflect what he sees because, you see, you have to pick out something to see, or something is picked out to see. You don’t write about everything you see, otherwise you’d have thousands and thousands of pages all the time. It’s only those selected moments of perception that are … Read More

Basic Poetics 3 – (David Cope – 1)


David Cope – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © The Estate of Allen Ginsberg

AG: Now,  I want to skip on to a modern poet called David Cope, who’s about thirty years old [Editorial note – this is in 1980] who writes, very much, specifically in this tradition of “minute particulars”, specificity, ordinary mind reality. And I have.. For various reasons, I’m reading through all of his poetry right now, (which consists of little, funny, hand-made, home-made mimeographed books of poems that he’s put out). The first one that I got was… Student: Is that Cope – C… AG:  … Read More

Basic Poetics – 2 (Kerouac, Reznikoff and Williams)





Jack Kerouac, Charles Reznikoff and William Carlos Williams

Allen’s 1980 Naropa Basic Poetics continues Student: Is that the only valid poetry then, citing particulars? AG: Well, that’s a generalization. Student: Okay  AG: All I’m saying is there’s lots of poetry like that, you know, an enormous amount of poetry is like that. For us beginning students (including me), let’s begin in somewhere real where we can begin, instead of somewhere up in the air where we can’t begin at all. Because, if we have nowhere we can stand, then there’s no point in my standing here. I … Read More

“Mind is shapely, Art is shapely”


[The Sleeping Gypsy (La Bohémienne endormie) (1897) –  by Henri “Douanier” Rousseau – oil on canvas 51″ x 79″ in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York]

AG: Yes? Student: I was wondering if you were (suggesting poetry and meditation) in the same (breath as)  functions of the mind? I was wondering if you are saying that – that poetry is a function of the mind? AG: Sure.. Student: You expanded on (Jack) Kerouac‘s… AG: …if you write it down. Student: Can you expand on Kerouac’s “If the mind is shapely, the poetry … Read More