William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship … Read More

Tom Raworth (1938-2017)

photo-23

[Tom Raworth – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]

Sad news to announce, the passing of one the great voices of poetry, and one of our dearest friends, Tom Raworth died today, after a long and protracted illness, aged 78.

From the Poetry Foundation website – “Writer, artist, teacher, and publisher Tom Raworth was born in South London. He attended the University of Essex; in 1970, he earned an MA in the theory and practice of literary translation. As founder of Matrix Press and co-founder of Goliard Press, Raworth was instrumental in bringing an entire tradition of American poetry to English … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 166

Chogyam Trungpa would have been 75 years old today Previous Trungpa birthday postings on the Allen Ginsberg Project may be viewed here and here  For a rich wealth of Trungpa materials – see here (Shambhala), here (the Chronicles Project) and here (the Chogyam Trungpa Legacy Project)

not forgetting his pivotal role in establishing “the first fully-accredited Buddhist-inspired university in America” – Naropa A selection from Johanna Demetrakas’ 2011 documentaryCrazy Wisdom – The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche may be viewed here

Here’s, on the occasion of his birthday, footage of Trungpa, from 1975 – Surrendering Your … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 151

Continuing from last week, (we can’t seem to leave it alone!) Kill Your Darlings (see earlier digests here and here) continues to garner reviews (mostly positive ones) – Michael O’Sullivan in The Washington Post takes up the debate over the blurring of fiction and fact (in particular, the presentation of Lucien Carr – wait a minute, “the Lucian Carr character”) – “You’d better like it complicated”, he writes, “The film is awash in delicious and difficult ambiguities”.  These “delicious and … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 144

[Leonardo DiCaprio and Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Jerry Aronson]  

“The film of the year”? – “The film of the year”? –  Well, obviously, we had to run this one! – Rebecca Cope, in Harpers Bazaar, on Kill Your Darlings.  Kill Your Darlings “buzz” continues to roll on, full pace. Here’s Timothy M Gray, in Variety: “The chief lure of “Darlings” for mainstream audiences and kudos voters will be word of mouth about (Daniel)Radcliffe’s breakthrough performance [as Allen Ginsberg], though the film has many other assets…Radcliffe said he’s dissimilar to Ginsberg, but added, “We are both

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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

Iain Sinclair & Ah Sunflower Footage (ASV 10)

Allen speaking in this clip, from Iain Sinclair and Robert Klinkert’s “Ah Sunflower!” movie, is one of the great items on the web – on You Tube anyway – in that it speaks so specifically to the (visual seduction of the) medium – postmodern self-awareness, “so you don’t get deceived”.
so essential is it that its been memorized, but here is the original
– and with a transcript:

Allen: “If you will keep your mind on the image that is in front of you, which is my face in the camera or in your tv tube or screen (tv

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Harry Smith Would Have Loved This

We’re not in the habit (no?) of posting “personal videos” but were curiously transfixed by this

Meanwhile. more seriously, for those of you in London on Wednesday night, Iain Sinclair. Mark Ford and Jack Underwood are at The South Bank Centre, as part of the Special Edition series, presenting Allen Ginsberg and The Story of Howl (hopefully from a more human perspective!)

Meanwhile Howl the movie (and now DVD) continues to draw raves. It’ll be opening later this month in the UK – and don’t forget, its star, in a few weeks time, will be co-hosting the Oscars!… Read More