Knitting Factory Kaddish

A couple of weekends ago, we featured Allen’s 1995 rendition of “Howl” (recorded at the Knitting Factory in New York) as part of an intensive week of performance (it was Allen’s intention to read comprehensively through his entire corpus). Today, we feature another reading from that engagement – a reading of his other (“Contest of Bards”, notwithstanding) major epic poem –  Kaddish.  Once again we are indebted to the extraordinary Ubuweb Allen’s introduction to Kaddish on that occasion is here

“So this is an extensive poem. I’m not sure about the time, probably about half an hour – … Read More

Elise Cowen (1933-1962)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allen Ginsberg and Elise Cowen

Al Filreis informative over-view of this lost “Beat” figure (she committed suicide in 1962, aged 29), along with a couple of sample poems, may be read here. Leo Skir’s personal memoir may be read here. A volume of work from her only surviving notebook, entitled Elise Cowen – Poems and Fragments, edited by Tony Trigilio and published by Ashahta Press has just recently appeared.

Elise-Cowen-Photo As Trigilio writes: 

Elise Cowen’s position in literary history has been a conflicted one.  Very little is known about … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1990 Loyola University reading

A Night With Allen Ginsberg – Allen Ginsberg’s reading at Loyola University, New Orleans, 1990. An eye-witness recalls:  “The overflow crowd filled up the aisles and the outside lobby, so he (Allen) invited audience members to sit on the stage with him. (we see them on the stage there)/ He also (that same visit) did a meditation workshop, and his Collected Poems had just appeared so he spent a whole afternoon signing copies and illustrating each with a drawing”.

 
AG: So, I’ll begin with music in honor of the President and the great phony war on dope. This is … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 147

From Jean-Jacques Lebel and Xavier Villetard’s Beat Generation, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs.  Allen: (“Candor ends paranoia”)   “And that is an old tradition that goes back to Whitman, who said that poets of the future should feature candor, frankness ( or “candor” is the word by Whitman) in public to bring that private candor into the public arena, to erase the schizophrenia between the way we really live and the way it’s conducted in public”. Rick Synchev’s extraordinary collection of Beat books and Beat miscellanea was auctioned off yesterday by the PBA Galleries in San Francisco, an On Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 133

The Allen Ginsberg Festival kicks off next Thursday in San Francisco with a literary tour of North Beach by Allen’s biographer (and bibliographer) Bill Morgan. On Thursday night at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, you can learn more, as Bill is the guest in a conversation with poet, David Meltzer. Gravity Goldberg will be on hand to moderate the discussion. For the schedule for the following three days, see here.

Meanwhile, earlier (tomorrow in fact!), in England – in Canterbury (as part of the three-day Brainchild Festival) , the Poejazzi collaborative will be “working on a

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Spontaneous Poetics – 79 (Ed Marshall)

AG: I got turned onto that partly by Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, which were divisions of thought into the spaces of a notebook page, but for larger draughts of thought, or larger breaths of thought, I got turned on to this form of open-page broken phrasing arranged in series out on the page by a long poem called “Leave the Word Alone” by Edward Marshall, which is [was – sic] in the Don Allen anthology, and was, I think, the first, about 1958, breakthrough of this kind of block form, where thoughts were spread around on the page … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 76 (Typography – 1)

{[ [A manuscript page of an unpublished Ginsberg poem” – to illustrate the 1966 Paris Review interview]
AG: Typographical typography – topography – Typographical Topography – I invented that category! – Topography – the way it looks on the page, the map, the map of the words on the page (or, that’s probably the wrong word, but, anyway, the typographical arrangement of words on the page) is another 20th Century trick, or technique, or piece of shrewdness for arranging the lines on the page. This is for the eye more than for the tongue or the mouth. And for … Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 125

[Allen Ginsberg and Naomi Ginsberg, both at the age of 30 – drawings by R.B.Kitaj, included in Kaddish, White Shroud, and Black Shroud by Allen Ginsberg, with an Introduction by Helen Vendler, and lithograph portraits of the poet and his mother by R.B.Kitaj, Arion Press, San Francisco, 1992]

All the attention on Beat Memories (Allen’s photo-show, concluding recently in New York City but about to open, May 23, in San Francisco) but, as Susan Anderson of the Special Collections at UCLA library has observed, there’s a “third, lesser-known hub” of Beat culture” – Los Angeles (two … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 69 (Burroughs, Voznesensky & Kaddish)

Student: Does the thought come to the mind scored?

AG: Pardon me?

Student: Does the thought come to the mind [as per late Williams] broken (say) into three lines..?

AG: Hmm – okay, let’s take that up in a minute. That’s an interesting question.

Onto (first, though), the next consideration – which would be distinct from units of vocal phrasing, mouth phrasing – units of mind-thought (which is another element that comes in, when you write – because your notation of what you’re saying is a notation of what you speak, but it’s also, really, if you’re writing silently … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 123

[Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco 1994 – photograph by Chris Felver (from the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library]

Belatedly noting the passing (he died April 11, aged 86) of the noted free-speech lawyer, Edward De Grazia, “one of the country’s foremost advocates of the First Amendment, championing the causes of writers, publishers, film-makers and others who challenged legal and moral conventions” (as his Washington Post’s obituary-note succinctly puts it). De Grazia was the author of the wonderfully-titled, (and wonderfully-comprehensive), Girls Lean Back Everywhere -The Laws of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius (the source of that … Read More