John Shoesmith interviews Raymond Foye on Allen Ginsberg’s photography
JS: You knew Allen before you started working with the photographs. How did your role with the photos begin?
RF: I met Allen in 1973 when I was sixteen, and a junior at Lowell High School. I went with the senior English honors class to a Kerouac symposium held at Salem State College, in Massachusetts. My English teacher, a lovely woman named Rita Sullivan, allowed me to go with the senior class, even though I was a junior, because she knew I was reading … Read More
Q: You said that your poetry is a practice as well, so..is it..do you meditate every day? do you use poetry as a practice?
AG: It’s a form of practice. I sit now about forty minutes to an hour every day. There have been long periods where I’ve sat for an hour, two hours, every day, and there have been long periods where I have been on retreats where I would sit all day, … Read More
[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:
“Self-Portrait on my Seventieth birthday in Borsolino hat and black cashmere-silk scarf from Milan & Dublin Thornproof-tweed suit, Oleg Cassini tie from Goodwill, shirt same source, kitchen windwo mid-day, I stayed home & worked on Selected Poems 1947-95 proofs after returning from Walker Art Center reading – Beat exhibition weekend. Monday June 3, 1996, NY. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate
“In the Beat constellation, Allen Ginsberg’s star now shines more brightly than the rest…There would have been no Beat phenomenon without Ginsberg, logorrhoeic poet and protester, illustrious, predatory queer, inventor and supporter of colleagues and hangers-on, impresario and self-appointed hero of a tradition that he put together from all kinds … Read More
November 21 – Elsa Dorfman‘s photo and Allen Ginsberg’s signature – now another November 21 rolls by.
Today, we thought we’d take time off to address another of those pesky memes. You know, “famous quotes of Allen Ginsberg”? – but when and where, and, did he actually say these things? We’ve already tried to address the “Follow your inner moonlight…” (did he say that? – well, he sort of did, the nature of the meme is that it’s going to proliferate anyway!) So how about “Whoever controls the media controls the mind” or “Whoever controls the media, … Read More
Recently-released out-takesfrom the film Ciao Manhattan show Allen wandering naked on the set (such set as there was!) Memorial Day Weekend, 1967, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Old Palisades Road. As directors David Weisman and John Palmer, point out, it’s in the grounds of “The Castle”, a rambling, eccentric mansion, rented out and loaned to the company by artist Peter Max. Ciao Manhattan was, of course, a vehicle for fated Warhol star, Edie Sedgwick, Allen’s cameo, only a very minor part of it. He does, however, manage to stand out!
“Starving, hysterical, naked..” – the role and … Read More
[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Larry Keenan]
In 1965 Allen arranged for and fellow student photographer Dale Smith to photograph him and Michael McClure and Robbie Robertson and Bob Dylan in the alleyway behind City Lights Bookstore (originally for possible use on the Blonde on Blonde album cover). The images were never used (tho’ some have turned up in subsequent Dylan projects).
[Elsa Dorfman with the Polaroid 20×24 camera. There are only six of these cameras in the world. The image is 23″x36″ and is of course in that wonderful Polaroid color. photos c. Elsa Dorfman]
Allen met Elsa Dorfman in 1959 when she was working at Grove Press and was arranging poetry readings for Grove’s poets, including Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Denise Levertov, Joel Oppenheimer, and Edward Field. She kept close with these poets, and continued to book readings when she returned to her home-town, Cambridge, where, in the late ’60s, she took up photography. Her … Read More