Philip Lamantia


[Philip Lamantia (1927-2005) – Photographed in 1981 by Chris Felver]

Happy, immensely happy, to be able to announce the publication (long-awaited publication) of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia. For other Lamantia-on-the-Ginsberg blog postings, see here, here and here and here and here, On this occasion, we feature…    

from “The Literary History of the Beat Generation”, Allen’s 1982 Naropa lecture series – his seminar on Philip Lamantia – a full transcription  (the audio is available here (starting approximately thirty-one-and-three-quarter minutes in) and continuing here)  

AG: So..we’ll start with Lamantia. How many know Lamantia? – I brought

Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 131 (Henri Michaux)

Henri Michaux Student: I wanted to ask you about Henri Michaux AG: Yes Student: And Ed Dorn, and James Tate AG: Henri Michaux, Ed Dorn and James Tate! – Well, once I was standing on a street corner in Paris, talking with Henri Michaux and Gregory Corso. And, let’s see, it was 1965 probably, and we’d known Michaux since (19)58). He’d come to visit. He lived around the block in Paris from Rue Git de Coeur, where we lived. He lived on Rue Segur near the Seine, on the Left Bank. He came in. I’d left a note saying … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 97 (Gregory Corso)


[Gregory Corso (1930-2001)]

July 7 1976 Naropa class (on Spontaneous and Improvised Poetics) continues and concludes AG: (So), getting back now to the list again, to the litany, or the list, (and) how do you handle that. We were examining yesterday Anne Waldman’s lists. A(nother) great list poet is Gregory Corso, whose work we haven’t take up (so much), so.. At one period, he (Corso) decided to write poems with single-word titles (a whole series of them) and explore every possible idea-combination within the field, exhaust (that was his word), exhaust, all the possibilities of “Marriage” as a … Read More

More Vintage Corso

  More Vintage Gregory Corso (culled from Michael Minzer/Hal Willner’s two Corso recordings – Die On Me and Lieders) – (We’ve already featured Marianne Faithfull, in collaboration with Gregory, a week or so back). Here’s Gregory and Allen (and Peter) and Studs Terkel, in January of 1959, in Chicago, on The “Studs Terkel Show”. Studs Terkel : [in media res] … no, no, but you couldn’t see.. GC: I want to see Al Capone‘s old heritage. I really dig him, you know. I pay homage to him. I mean.. ST:  Once upon a time there was an
Read More

Marianne Faithfull Reads (& Converses With) Gregory Corso

[Marianne Faithfull in Minneapolis, 2001]

Marianne Faithful and Gregory Corso, together in his last days – January 5, 6 and 7, 2001, in Robbinsdale, Minneapolis (Gregory died ten days later), recorded by Michael Minzer , produced by Michael Minzer, Hal Willner and Marianne Faithfull, and released, in 2006, under the title Lieders, on Minzer’s Paris Records.

Minzer: “This CD consists of recordings that were not included on the (earlier) Gregory Corso Die On Me release”…””Lieders” was a title he (Gregory) suggested for the original album.”

Marianne: “I speak with the voice of Allen Ginsberg” – “I speak in

Read More

William Burroughs and Gregory Corso Reading at Naropa 1975

[Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso]

From the remarkable Naropa Archives (that we spotlighted here). Here‘s a truly, as Allen presciently noticed, historic reading – William Burroughs and Gregory Corso together in 1975.

Allen provides a succinct introduction – AG: ..Under the auspicies of Naropa Institute. In some attempt to combine meditation and poetics, or to see how they influence each other (since it’s a great tradition of poetics to be knowledgeable about consciousness, and since it’s a great tradition of meditators to be poetic-tongued for bodhisattvic purposes of explanation), so the whole point of … Read More

Spntaneous Poetics – 94 (Philip Lamantia – 3)

[Philip Lamantia (1927-2005)]

AG: Would you like to hear some more (Philip) Lamantia? Student(s): Yeah AG;  Lamantia and (Gregory) Corso, oddly, are [1975] very much alive. Both Italian, both word-alchemists, mantic word-manipulators. This is called “Astro-mancy” – short lines.

ASTRO-MANCY The stars have gone crazy and the moon is very angry The old civilization that rolled the dice of Hitler is surely bumbling into a heap of catatonic hysteria. Another civilization secret for sic thousand tears is creeping on the crest of future. I can almost see the tin of its triangular star. I’m writing
Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 74 (Deep Stenography)

AG: Well, I still want to get back to where we started which was, what’s your phenomenology of mind? What’s the phenomenon of what we call consciousness? or what we call language? How does it arrive to you? and what’s the best way to notate that? Can you be a good secretary of yourself? Can you be a good stenographer? (And the difficulty there is between superficial stenography and deep stenography, in discerning what’s actually going on, and not accepting some of the trash that’s thrown up to the social brain. There’s a social brain while writing, and then there’s … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 123

[Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco 1994 – photograph by Chris Felver (from the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library]

Belatedly noting the passing (he died April 11, aged 86) of the noted free-speech lawyer, Edward De Grazia, “one of the country’s foremost advocates of the First Amendment, championing the causes of writers, publishers, film-makers and others who challenged legal and moral conventions” (as his Washington Post’s obituary-note succinctly puts it). De Grazia was the author of the wonderfully-titled, (and wonderfully-comprehensive), Girls Lean Back Everywhere -The Laws of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius (the source of that … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 119

Harry Smith at Allen Ginsberg's Kitchen Table, New York City, 16 June 1988 / Allen Ginsberg

[Harry Smith – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – Copyright The Estate of Allen Ginsberg – Caption reads: “Harry Smith at kitchen table 437 East 12th Street. Apt 22, he lived in tiny quiet room off to the side of the kitchen, suffered compression fracture of knee, bumped by car on First Avenue corner – so stayed on nine months before moving to Cooperstown for half a year – still drank two bottles of beer in his room, taped ambient sounds of New York Lower Manhattan with a Sony Pro Walkman microphone wrapped in towel on outside window, ledge kitchen and … Read More