Spontaneous Poetics – 49 – A Brief Survey of Haiku


This [Allen hands out a home-made xerox-ed collection] is a little anthology of choice haiku taken from the four-volume set of haiku in the library collected by R.H.BlythSpring, Summer, Winter, Autumn. How many have looked into that, or know that collection? It’s a collection that (Jack) Kerouac used and Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen all used as a sort of poetics reference encyclopedia handbook inspiration text around 1955. I was reading haiku, then, in those books and chose the best ones, or the ones that stuck in my head, about twenty or thirty,

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Friday Weekly Round-Up – 109

Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg. The long-awaited Kill Your Darlings opens at the Sundance Film Festival today. More on that in the days ahead. And more too on the adaptation of Kerouac’s Big Sur (also opening in the coming weeks at Sundance).

Still with the movies, Chris Felver‘s documentary, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, debuts in select US theaters, February 8th, featuring Ferlinghetti, Allen, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka, Dennis Hopper, Bob Dylan, and a host of others. Here’s the trailer.

(The trailer for Felver’s earlier Ferlinghetti film, incidentally, can be seen here.)… Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 107

[Marsden Hartley (1878-1943) – Finnish-Yankee Sauna, (1938-9), Collection of the Frederick R Weisman Museum, Minneapolis]

Marsden Hartley‘s birthday today. Hartley was a figure Allen admired, not only as a painter, but (perhaps even more) as a strangely neglected poet. For more on Hartley the poet see here and here. For more (audio – Allen at Naropa on Hartley) – see here and here).

Beat Memories – the definitive exhibition of Allen’s photographs (that debuted at the National Gallery in Washington DC in 2010 (see here, here and here) makes its way to New York … Read More

Nanao & Allen – 1982 KNGU Radio Interview – Part 2

[Nanao Sakaki Reading at Yoyogi Park, Shibuya, Tokyo, Earth Day 2006 – Photograph used by permission – Copyright John Suiter. All Rights Reserved]

NS: Okay. Another poem. Future knows. Future knows – “Thus I heard/ Oakland California – /To teacher’s question an eleven-year-old girl answered, “The ocean is/ A huge swimming-pool with cement walls.”/ On a starry summer night/ At a camping ground in Japan/ a nine-year-old boy from Tokyo complained/ “Ugly, too many stars!”/ At a department store in Kyoto/ One of my friends bought a beetle/ For his son, seven-years-old. A few hours later/ The boy brought his … Read More

Nanao & Allen 1982 – KNGU Radio Interview – Part 1

[Nanao Sakaki (1923-2008]

[Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)] How To Live On The Planet Earth – The Collected Poems of  Nanao Sakaki finally appears in print (from Blackberry Books – ordering details here.) In honor of the occasion, a two-part transcription of a radio interview that Nanao and Allen participated in, in 1982, with David Barsamian, on KNGU radio, Boulder,Colorado, follows here. For more on Nanao on The Allen Ginsberg Project see here.   

DB: We’re very pleased to have in our studios right now a very prominent poet from Japan, Nanao Sakaki, and our very own Allen Ginsberg. Allen, you … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading at D.G.Wills, 1994 (ASV#20)

One of the gems on You Tube is a 6-part reading of Allen in 1994 at La Jolla, California, at Dennis Wills’ extraordinary bookstore, happily spotlighted.
In response to a query, Wills recently recalled:
“It was Gary Snyder who helped to make that happen. When Gary read here in 1992, he had such a good time that he gave me Allen’s telephone number in New York, told me to call him and tell him that he (Gary) recommended the venue here. When I did call, Allen himself answered and I said something like “Hi Allen, Gary Snyder gave me your … Read More

D.T.Suzuki (1870-1966)

[D.T.Suzuki – photo by Mihoko Okamura]
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), the great roshi, (teacher), prolific author of a variety of texts, including the hugely-influential An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1934) and Zen and Japanese Culture (1959), subject of Michael Goldberg’s extraordinary film, A Zen Life (2006), is universally credited with introducing Zen (Japanese Buddhism) to the West. Gary Snyder, in the film, calls him “probably the most culturally significant Japanese person in international terms, in all of history”. Carl Jung had earlier written, “Suzuki’s works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism…We … Read More

Deborah Baker – Allen in India

Deborah Baker’s A Blue Hand – The Beats in India remains the most comprehensive and most evocative exploration of those times. Here’s highlights from the symposium held in New York in 2008 at the Asia Society to celebrate the publication of that book.

And here’s an excerpt from a gathering that took place in Mumbai that same year (Deborah Baker speaks on a panel alongside Prabo Parikh, Adil Jussawalla and Jerry Pinto)

 Two reviews from The Hindustan Times may be read here and here . The Calcutta Telegraph reviews the book here  (and interviews the author). IBN (Indian … Read More

Duncan Campbell Radio Interview – part two

[Allen Ginsberg at Ed Sanders’ Peace Eye Bookstore, East 10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C, New York City, June 1966 ]
DC: What kind of transformations took place in the (19)60’s? It seems that, for a variety of reasons, some of them political, like sharing that experience of a “social lie”, through the disappointment of radical movements and drug experiences and so on, that maybe a wide variety of people began to turn on to that same kind of rhythm of insight that you took in the (19)50’s.
AG: Yeah, well, I think one reason people shared it … Read More

Duncan Campbell Radio Interview – part one

[Buddha – Shakyamuni, The Enlightened One, from the Rubin Museum of Art, New York]
Following Spiritual Poetics, which we’ve been serializing these past two weeks, here’s another unpublished transcript from those times, Duncan Campbell’s 1974 radio interview with Allen. Allen discusses the history of Buddhism and the Beats (pre Naropa), and much else. The interview has been broken down into two parts. The second part will run tomorrow.
Duncan Campbell: Welcome to “Open Secret”. This is a series of discussions that is being recorded in Boulder, Colorado, at Naropa Institute, and I’ve just been talking with Allen Ginsberg … Read More