Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 342

[Paul Blackburn and company, from the Paul Blackburn papers, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego]

More big news, archival news, the Paul Blackburn audio collection, long in the safe-keeping of the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego, the great trove of New York City poetry recordings (“the most comprehensive oral history of the New York poetry scene between the late 1950s and 1970.”, in the words of Blackburn editor and scholar Edith Jarolim), has finally been digitalized and is now available on line.

The first release of this collection includes … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 309

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

Barbara Rubin (1945-1980)

Taken in England 1964

[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]

 

Last year’s celebrations at the Anthology Film Archives and at Johan Kugelberg’s New York City Boo-Hooray Gallery (specialists in the occluded and forgotten), suceeeded in shining a little light, perhaps, on the perennial “underground legend”, Barbara Rubin, but not so very much. She … Read More

Jonas Mekas – (October 1987 – Allen Ginsberg)

 

From October 1987 – from Jonas Mekas’ Video Diary.    See here for the Video Diary  Allen reads from Cosmopolitan Greetings,  despite the indifference of little Sebastian, in Jonas Mekas‘  studio/loft/home. Allen takes over the camera and, with curious and roving eye, surveys the work-space of Jonas, impresario of the Anthology Film Archives, “pack rat of the avant-garde”.
“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
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Sunflower Sutra – Mekas Vintage Footage (1959 at the Living Theater)

Yesterday, posted on You Tube was remarkable footage (by Jonas Mekas) of Allen, Amiri Baraka (then LeRoi Jones) Ray Bremser, and Frank O’Hara, famously reading together, in 1959, in New York City, at the Living Theatre, at a benefit for Yugen magazine  (you’re perhaps familiar with  Fred McDarrah’s iconic photo taken on that same occasion (see below)  The footage is silent, but Jonas added a soundtrack, a recording he made of Allen the following year, 1960, reading from his classic “Sunflower Sutra” – “..my sunflower, O my soul, I loved you then!..” [2014 update – Regrettably, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 112

Today, February 8, is Neal Cassady‘s birthday. He would have been 87 today. See our illustrated and highly-annotated last-year’s post. 
 
In a move that would no doubt have bemused Cassady, Denver Mayor, Mayor Michael Hancock made official proclamation of (a) “Neal Cassady Day”, and, last week, in honor of it, and of Neal, Denver Beat historian Mark Bliesner, hosted, (at the Mercury Cafe down on California Street), the (now 4th) annual “Neal Cassady Birthday Bash”.
 

More mayoral intervention. The late Mayor of New York, Ed Koch, was, it seems, a big Allen Ginsberg fan. Here’s an interesting document, … Read More