[Allen Ginsberg in the War Resisters League office, May 1978 – photo: David McReynolds (c) David McReynolds]
Allen Ginsberg celebrations last night in Salerno, Italy – a collaboration between Casa della Poesia and La Locanda del Mare, presented by Sergio Iagulli, Raffaella Marzano and Giancarlo Cavallo, and drawing from the extensive audio and video archive of Casa della Poesia. (The event also featured a screening of the classic Beat film, Pull My Daisy, with Marzano’s appreciative and sensitive Kerouac translation)
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
Lawrence Ferlinghetti on Reddit – on what is his favorite Allen Ginsberg poem – “Aunt Rose” because it’s a very touching, deep and profound expression of love and empathy of his old Aunt Rose. It’s even more powerful than his long poem [“Kaddish‘] about his mother.”
Back in the 1980’s (and, indeed, into the 1990’s – and beyond?) Kim’s Videos(on St Marks Place, later on Avenue A) was an essential part of Allen’s New York East Village neighborhood. As Allen’s upstairs neighbor, Richard Hell remarked (in a valedictory piece, in 2014, in the New York Times) – “The moment Kim’s opened, it supplanted everything else in the area. It was so much better curated”. Carefully arranged (via directors, via genres), mind-boggling comprehensive, it had… well, everything! Too expansive to keep up a regular (printed) catalog, there were one or two desultory attempts to map the … Read More
Colin Still and Optic Nerve‘s poetic documentation and extraordinary achievement needs to be sung. So we’re singing it today here.
By now, perhaps, many of you will have already seen, and be familiar with, this footage (Colin’s footage) – the legendary pairing – Allen Ginsbergaccompanied by Paul McCartney, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in October of 1995 – “The Ballad of The Skeletons”
From the same occasion – “After Lalon”
but that event and that footage, extraordinary though it is, is only the very tip of the iceberg.
Colin has shot full-length
In anticipation of Ed Sanders’ seventy-fifth birthday tomorrow
“Ed Sanders, poet and founding member of The Fugs, recalls his deep friendship with Harry Smith, compiler of the highly influential Anthology of American Folk Music. (Smith produced the Fugs’ first album in 1965) for Folkways Records“)
“The recording sessions for Folkways Records resulted in the 1965 album “The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Point of Views, and General Dissatisfaction.” The album was reissued in 1966 as The Fugs First Album by the ESP-Disk Label, followed by several reissues with additional tracks”
[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
[top image – Allen Ginsberg and Barbara Rubin together at the Albert Monument, outside the Royal Albert Hall, London, May 1965, on the occasion of the First International Poetry Incarnation – bottom image – Barbara Rubin filming in the streets of London – May 1965 – photo by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
“I seem to be making an inventory of your apartment.”, he declares. “I don’t suppose you have done this yet have you? No? Well this might be interesting – But there’s “all kinds of junk”, insists Mekas – “No, it’s