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.
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
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 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
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 … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky on Cape Breton, 1992 – Photo – Phyllis Segura]
“…Peter was a taciturn and rugged man with a gruff exterior and a submerged explosive intensity. To (Allen), he may have represented an opportunity to merge (as (Walt) Whitman put it) with the “landscape of the common world’. Like Herbert Huncke or Neal Cassady, Peter expressed the Beat notion that writing is not the exclusive province of an aristocratic, university-educated elite, that a more vital resource than the library or museum may be the idiom and lessons of the street and
[Allen Ginsberg, Maretta Greer and Gary Snyder at The Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967 – Photograph by Leo Holub]
[Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Maretta Greer at the opening of Timothy Leary’s Meditation Center, Hudson Street, New York City, 1967]
Maretta Greer, another of Allen’s “girlfriends”, his mantra teacher, spiritual goad, and sometime live-in companion, when she wasn’t (as she was, a good deal of the time) wandering barefoot around India.
She’d left home at aged fifteen to become a saddhu.
Gordon Ball recalls glimpsing her in Allen’s company, in 1966 at the Jonas … Read More