Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979


[Allen Ginsberg at the Atheneum Bookshop, Amsterdam, November 1979. photo: Hans van Dijk / Dutch National Archives]

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979  (continuing from yesterday)

AG: I’ll begin since – oh we were discussing the subject . I’ll begin with a song dedicated to another fellow in prison, David Solomon who’s in Brighton…in Bristol jail, as he was sentenced to ten years as part of that big LSD conspiracy bust about a year or two ago – what was the name of that? Julie Operation Julie

[Allen sings a version of “Dope Fiend Blues”- “Dope Fiend Blues Shuffle”]… Read More

Terry Gross Interview, 1994


Terry Gross. 1987 in the studio on NPR’s “Fresh Air”


“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn, looking for an angry fix”

TG: Allen Ginsberg, reading his now classic poem “Howl”. Ginsberg was a cultural hero to several generations. He was one of the leading Beat poets in the (19)50’s, in the (19)60’s he was an icon of the counterculture, through the (19)70’s and (19)80’s, he continued to write and to explore Eastern religions. By the (19)90’s, he was an inspiration to up-and-coming … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 281

Jonah Raskin reviews The Ginsberg 3 CD set for the Huffington Post – here:

The Last Word on First Blues is as essential to an understanding of Ginsberg as his Collected Poems, and just as much fun. The set also shows that those who only know Ginsberg as a poet of the printed word ans not also as a performer of the spoken word know him merely by half”

Sam Clark looks at Allen’s classic Kaddish (from a psychoanalytical vantage-point – “Psychoanalytical Perspective on Ginsberg’s Read More

Labor Day

Postcard illustration of the first Labor Day Parade, New York City, 1882


Labor Day gathering in New York City (Union Square) 1887 – Photograph via NewYork Public Library]



Labor Day Parade, “Women’s Auxiliary Typographical Union”, New York City, 1909

from Kaddish – Allen’s initial vow, preparing to enter Columbia University – to be an “honest revolutionary labor lawyer” – “Prayed on ferry to help mankind if admitted—vowed, the day I journeyed to Entrance Exam—/ by being honest revolutionary labor lawyer—would train for that—inspired by/ Sacco Vanzetti, Norman Thomas, Debs, Altgeld, Sandburg, PoeLittle Blue BooksRead More

Kaddish, 1959, (the Robert Creeley Recording)


         [Kaddish (50th Anniversary edition), Allen painted by Naomi, Allen & Naomi]

Allen’s classic poem “Kaddish” has been featured on several occasions on The Allen Ginsberg Project (notably here, herehere and here).  Today, we’re doing so again. Today’s version (noticeably missing Part II) – (low-, but nonetheless serviceable, fidelity) is from a recording included in the Robert Creeley collection (the collection of audio tapes bequeathed by the Estate) currently available on the University of Pennsylvania’s unparalleled PennSound site.  The tape, as UPenn’s curators inform us, “appears to have been recorded at the Creeley’s home … Read More

Théâtre de Poche – (AG on Stage Nudity)


Roger Domani founded the politically engaged Théâtre de Poche in Brussels (Belgium) in 1951. Allen was on hand in 1976 for the  25-year celebration. The Théâtre de Poche had famously produced a stage adaptation of his Kaddish in 1967 

[Stage Nudity – The Living Theatre – Paradise Now, 1967]

Allen is seen (and heard) here chanting – “AH” – and making the following declaration:  What seems strange and shocking perhaps in 1945 or (19)55 seems usable, workable now as, for instance, a few years ago, twenty years ago, we all had the dream of people naked on stage, … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 51 (Bodhisattva Vows – 1)

[Human Tapestry – Sadegh Tirafkan (1965-2013)]

AG: I don’t know if Reggie (Ray) went over the Bodhisattva vows – all four? – did he? (I think he went over three or something) but I’ll go over it once (not as Buddhism, but just as ordinary mind thoughts, the sort of thoughts that you’d have as a kid, or that you’d find expressed in (Jack) Kerouac or in (Percy Bysshe) Shelley. Remember we began with Shelley’s, the end of, “(Ode to) the West Wind”  – “Drive my dead thoughts over the universe/ Like withered leaves to quicken a new … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 105 (Kaddish)

Allen’s August 13 1981 Naropa class continues

AG: “Kaddish”, (which is a long poem, celebrated, and it’s supposed to be sort of a kind of terrible masterpiece), is really just writing what I hadn’t been taking into account. Just a release of particulars that may have occured to me at one time or another but I never particularly strung together and made any kind of coherent exhibition of (to myself, or others).  So it was a recognition of feelings that I had to(ward) my mother, as well as images. When I wrote down that line – “with your belly Read More

Expansive Poetics – 101 (John Ashbery & Purposeful Disjunction)

The climax of that method (applying Abstract Expressionist techniques to poetics) is a poem called “Europe” by John Ashbery, which was published in Big Table in 1961 or so, and then reprinted often, because it was his attempt completely to dissociate the language from representation, and to make something like (Willem) de Kooning, or Jackson Pollock, Jackson Pollock more, with a scattering of words on the page arranged in an odd way, floating around on the page, so that you would not be able to join the words. You’d have … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 182


Allen Ginsberg: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at daw...

Yishay Ben Moshe is currently performing, “The Key Is In The Window”,  a theatrical interpretation of  Allen’s “Kaddish“ at the Gay and Lesbian Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. Nathan Zach‘s translation  (a bi-lingual edition in Hebrew and English, approved by Allen) appeared, famously, in 1988

Burroughs Centennial and we haven’t noted much here on the Ginsberg Project since a flurry of activity early in the year but here‘s word of the upcoming exhibition, Animals In The Wall, curated by  James Elphick and Yuri Zupančič and scheduled to premiere in London on the 27th of … Read More