Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 382

[Allen Ginsberg]

[Gordon Ball]

Gordon Ball (whose iconic photograph of Virginia military academy students in a classroom reading Howl we featured, here on The Allen Ginsberg Project, a few weeks back), is a photographer, filmmaker, author, and the accomplished editor of several volumes of Allen’s journals, (notably Journals – Early ‘Fifties, Early ‘Sixties, and Journals – Mid Fifties 1954-1958, as well as the earlier (1975) Pulitzer-Prize-nominated Allen Verbatim: Lectures on Poetry, Politics, Consciousness.)

He is also, more recently, (2012),  author of  East Hill Farm – Seasons with Allen Ginsberg, a unique and wonderful memoir of his time … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 378

Michael Robbins on Book Post – on Gordon Ball’s iconic photograph

“What better image of.. institutionalized complacency could be imagined than the assigning of Ginsberg’s verse to the nation’s future military elite, who – far from being scandalized by lines like “Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb” (from “America,” perhaps Ginsberg’s finest poem)- approach the reading with the dutiful ennui of students everywhere. Howl, like Ulysses and Lolita, has become homework.

But the poem, Robbins notes, “still razzle-dazzles today, this run-on prophetic mode of drug culture and madness, Whitmanian catalogue tuned to Blake-inflected beatific visionary blab with … Read More

Brian Graham Interview – part 2

[Allen Ginsberg in his kitchen, New York City, 1988 – photo: Brian Graham]

Brian Graham on Allen Ginsberg’s photography – continues

JS: I’m interested in Allen and his photographic “eye” – did he know what he was looking for when he was looking at a contact sheet and what he’d want printed?

BG: Robert had a lot of influence over Allen (when it came to deciding what photos to print). But Allen took the pictures, so he knew what he was after. And there are a lot of good ones.He had a quirky kind of sensibility. Like the picture of … Read More

America, America

[Allen Ginsberg A Queda Da América (The Fall of  America; Poems of These States)   translations by Paulo Henriques Britto. L&PM Porto Alegre, 2014]

 

Allen Ginsberg’s classic poem “America” is one we tend to trot out around this time   (like every Thanksgiving, it’ll be William Burroughs’ “Thanksgiving Prayer”  and every Allen’s birthday, it’s dogwood flowers).                            So here it is again.

and here’s, of interest, (included in  Gordon Ball‘s edition of Allen Ginsberg’s Journals – Mid Fifties 1954-58 ), an early draft, or early poem, early working, with that title, written shortly after “Howl”.

The last … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 321

Today is the official release day for The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience, Allen’s Blake settings, re-released on CD and Digital by Omnivore Recordings, for the first time, (plus a second disc of rarities and previously unissued songs). For earlier announcements on the Allen Ginsberg Project  – see here and here.

 Gordon Ball (from Pat Thomas‘ illuminating and extensive accompanying booklet of sleeve-notes) in answer to the question, “Why William Blake?”::

“Allen always saw poetry and music as linked, not separate, art forms…and had a long history with Blake going back to that 1948 vision or “auditory … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 309

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition.  Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book.   Reviews are already highly positive:

Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 308

Heads-up for next Friday! (Friday April 7) – Ginsberg Green – “A spoken word & musical gathering honoring the life and Green activism of Allen Ginsberg” – a unique celebratory event, organized by our good friend Patrick Warner, scheduled to take place at The Sprinkler Factory in Worcester, Mass, starting approximately 6 o’clock.

The event will include Ann Charters (reading from Lospecchio Press’ Best Minds – A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg),  Gordon Ball (reading from his Cherry Valley memoir, East Hill Farm), and  Warner himself reading  “selected Ginsberg texts & interviews that exemplify & manifest Ginsberg’s Green … Read More

Bonnie Bremser

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Yesterday we spotlighted Ray Bremser, today we spotlight his sometime-wife Bonnie (nee Frazer) Bremser and the extraordinary document Troia-Mexican Memoirs (1969) (published in England as For Love of Ray (1971)), a “lost classic of Beat experimental writing.”

Heike Mlakar, in her 2007 book, Merely Being There Is Not Enough – Women’s Roles in Autobiographical Texts by Female Beat Writers, notes:

“The male-dominated Beat circle offered women only restricted freedom. For The Love of Ray, as well as the memoirs of other Beat women, criticizes the fact that women were doubly suppressed, by “square” society at … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 290

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today – from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography: ” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.

And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what made … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 286

 

     
Allen Ginsberg and his life-long partner, Peter Orlovsky, New York City, 1977 – Photograph by Gordon Ball

 

The Beat Generation exhibit at the Pompidou Center draws to a close with a number of specially-scheduled events – a colloquium and a series of films. Last chance to catch this extraordinary exhibit in its Parisian manifestation.

Here‘s Joseph Nechvatal‘s review in Hyperallergic

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Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg

et aussi à Paris Next week sees the publication of Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by … Read More