Jack Kerouac’s Birthday

Jack Kerouac’s birthday today. Strange to think he would be 96! From our good friend, Kerouac literary executor, Jim Sampas:

Excerpt from Letter Jack Kerouac to Neal CassadyDec. 28,  1950

“All my life I was fascinated by the first thaws of New England March; not until I was told I was actually born in the midst of one did I vaguely remember the day of my birth, or is this too far-fetched? Not in the least (my darkface protests across the continent to thee.) I remember it, I remember the day of my birth. I remember the … Read More

Doctor Sax and the Great World Snake

Doctor Sax and The Great World Snake – In honor of Jack Kerouac’s 96th birthday (coming up on Monday) – we present Jim Sampas‘ version of his uncle’s original screenplay, featuring the voices of Robert Creeley, Jim Carroll, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and a host of talented others.

The double-disc CD of a reading of this initially-lost text (with a newly-commissioned score by John Medeski, and an accompanying book with illustrations by Richard Sala) was released back in 2003

Here‘s the announcement in Rolling Stone

Here‘s a transcript of  NPR’s Bob Edwards, talking to Jim Sampas

A … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 356

Beyond Beat, the five-day Los Angeles Beat  convention continues. Among the highlights tonight, a group reading of “Howl” (also a performance of Gregory Corso’s “Bomb”, and a poetry reading by Neeli Cherkovski and Paul Vangelisti). Tomorrow (Saturday) will include a “Punk and Beat” panel  (with V. Vale, Jerry Casale, and S.A.Griffin), a panel on Bob Kaufman, and a showing of Billy Woodberry‘s documentary on Kaufman, And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead.  Sunday includes Steve Silberman (on the Legacy of “Howl”), a “Howl” panel (with Steve Silberman, Marc Olmsted, and … Read More

Early Ginsberg – 3 – Two Sonnets

[The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, (1852), By John Martin]

AG: Then I tried some combination… then Shakespeare , then I tried a Shakespeare sonnet (again, the same year (1948). The occasion was  reading the entire manuscript of Kerouac’s The Town and The City, and because it was so monumental and poderoso,  powerful I thought, and the prose was so grand, at the end, toward the end, it got towards Thomas Wolfe-ian, Herman Melvilleian prose, that I realized that we must be on the train to some vast destiny, that all our day-dreamy arty.. walkings-under-the-Brooklyn-Bridge-in-the-moonlight … Read More

Elazar Larry Freifeld Tel Aviv 1988 Interview

[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall.  Photograph by Steven Taylor]

Allen Ginsberg in Israel.

This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.

LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].

AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 355

Publication date next week (March 8), we’re very happy to announce and very much looking forward to it  – Simon Warner‘s new book  Kerouac on Record – A Literary Soundtrack 

Olivier Julien, (Lecturer in the History and Musicology of Popular Music, at the Sorbonne in Paris) writes:

“Following Text and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture  (2013), Simon Warner partners with Literary Executor of the Estate of Jack Kerouac, Jim Sampas, to go deeper into his exploration of the connections between the great figures of the Beat generation and the music of the so-called ‘rock … Read More

Vojo Sindolic’s 1986 Belgrade Interview – part two

[Dubrovnik, in the old city – Photograph -Beth Leonard]

Allen Ginsberg interview – continuing from yesterday

VS: When you first visited me in my home in my birthplace, the old city of Dubrovnik, in October of 1980, you were so delighted by its beauty that you decided to stop and stay for a long four weeks!  During that time we spent any happy hours together, talking just about everything, making plans for the first book of my translations of your poems. It was there in Dubrovnik that you wrote two of your best later poems – “Birdbrain”. and Eroica” … Read More

Vojo Sindolic’s 1986 Belgrade Interview – part one

[Allen Ginsberg in Belgrade, 1986]

Vojo Sindolic‘s 1986 interview with Allen in Belgrade (in two parts – the second part will follow tomorrow) is our focus on The Allen Ginsberg Project this weekend.

Vojo’s translation of Cosmopolitan Greetings  (Kozmopolitski pozdravi ) has just appeared from Hrvatskoga društva pisaca  (h,d,p) (the Croatian Writers Society

Here, he introduces the interview:

“Allen Ginsberg and I were very close friends for twenty years from 1977 until his death in 1997. I felt and still feel deep love for his poetic insight, or as one may call it – it was literary … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 354

[Allen Ginsberg, Venice, Italy, 1995, Enzo Eric Toccaceli,  “Beat Generation, Travels in Italy” exhibition, Rome]

“Beat Generation, Ginsberg Corso, Ferlinghetti Viaggio in Italia”, (Beat Generation, Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti Travels in Italy), a show of over 200 black-and-white photos (accompanied by an apparatus of over 600 documents (books, first editions, printed ephemera, etc)  curated and presented by photographer Enzo Eric Toccaceli, opened at La Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Roma (The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome) last week, and will be up until April 2nd.. For more images from the show see … Read More

On “Stanzas Written At Night in Radio City” 

[Radio City Crossing. photo by Henry Silberman]

OnStanzas Written At Night in Radio City” 

[hear Allen in a recording of him reading the poem (from the LP/CD “The Lion For Real”)  here  – (and. here (in 1980), and, from a recording from 1981, in San Francisco  at The Intersection – here]

AG:   “If money made the mind more sane./ Or money mellowed in the bowel/ The hunger beyond the hunger’s pain,/ Or money choked the mortal growl/ And made the groaner grin again,/ Or did the laughing lamb embolden/ To loll where has … Read More