Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 367

[Allen Ginsberg, photographed on the campus at Columbia University, 1968]

A nice little hat-tipping to Allen from Danny Goldberg, in an interview with Rob Couteau. in Rain Taxi, regarding his new book,  In Search of the Lost Chord – 1967 and the Hippie Idea

“My favorite poem by Allen is “Wichita Vortex Sutra.” That, to me, is his quintessential ’60s poem. It’s a fully mature commentary on what was happening in America at that time. I recently wrote a review of the Ken Burns documentary of the Vietnam War, and I said: “If you want to … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 363

An Allen Ginsberg Symposium coming up next week at the Poetry Project. Three days of events next Thursday through Saturday. Full details of the programming can be found here. Highlights include, “Allen Ginsberg: An International Poetry, Its Genius & Particles”, a keynote talk by Alice Notley, workshops with Anne Waldman and Ed Sanders, an opening-night (Thursday-night) reading with Anselm BerriganRin JohnsonPatricia Spears JonesSharon MesmerLara Mimosa MontesTrace Peterson, and sam sax, and much more.


Allen Ginsberg’s Iron Curtain Journals (announced here a couple of weeks back), … Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

[Neal Cassady (1926-1968)] – Photograph by Herb Greene via The Grateful Dead Archive Online]

Neal Cassady‘s birthday today, born February 8, 1926 in Salt Lake City.

In Denver tomorrow, the David Amram Quartet will headline the 9th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash at the Mercury Cafe, featuring music, poetry and reminiscences celebrating the life and the legend of Neal Cassady,

The following day, February 10th, at the Alamo Drafthouse/Sloan’s Lake, there will be a special screening of the film Magic Trip  (2011) detailing Cassady and Ken Kesey’s 1964 adventures (Cassady driving the bus with the Merry Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 348

Reposting and restating last week’s big news – “Howl’,  a newly-assembled red vinyl  box-set will be available soon – next month – from Craft Recordings.  February 23 is slated as the release-date. Hold your breath!

A couple of weeks back,  Chris Agg uploaded a scattering of short Beat-related video-clips onto You Tube. See here (a few selected examples). We start off with Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading his prose-poem “Look Homeward, Jack – Two Correspondences”  from the book Wild Dreams of A New Beginning. (Ferlinghetti can also be seen here, reading “Constantly Rising Absurdity”, from A Coney Island of the Read More

More on Metrics – 3

AG: Well, it’s not that that you need to be able to understand it [Greek prosody] to write a poem. It’s not perverting your speech to get those rhythms. Rather, it is that speech does have those rhythms, and that you can follow the cadences with those rhythms, that when we were taught in drama-school and high-school primary rhythms, it was very rare that anything was taught beyond the four variants of iamb, trochee, anapest and dactyl.  – that seemed to be the range of  the English ear, or awareness of rhythm, or American high-school awareness of rhythm, … Read More

1967- Ginsberg-Corso-Berryman at Spoleto

The recordings of Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso (and of an unlikely third-party, John Berryman, at the 1967 Festival of Two Worlds (“Festival dei Due Mondi”) at Spoleto in Italy, organized by Gian Carlo Menotti is the focus of this weekend’s post

[Allen Ginsberg, Spoleto, 1967]

Allen’s reading (which was also subsequently featured in the recording Ginsberg’s Thing (1969)), was the subject at the time of some controversy.   As his biographer Bill Morgan explains:

“The police in Spoleto seemed to be waiting for him and they picked up copies of the Italian translation of his poem “Who Be Kind Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Ken Kesey at the 1982 Jack Kerouac Conference


 [Vintage Ephemera – Poster from the 1982 Naropa Jack Kerouac Conference]

Another classic piece of audio this week from the 1982 Jack Kerouac Conference. We’ve been featuring a number of recordings from the Conference in the past few weeks. See, for example, here, here, and here, here and here.

Today – Lawrence Ferlinghetti reads Jack Kerouac (from the then-unpublished Pomes All Sizes

and Ken Kesey speaks (presciently) of marijuana de-criminalization and reads an early draft of his classic  “Now We Know How Many Holes It Takes To Fill The Albert Hall” (a piece originally … Read More

William Burroughs and Ken Kesey – 1978 at Naropa

William S Burroughs

Ken Kesey

Vintage audio – William Burroughs and Ken Kesey reading at the Naropa Institute on July 19, 1978 Kesey begins/reads first click here


Ken Kesey: This is a piece calledAbdul the Bulbul. [Editorial note –  published as “Abdul and Ebenezer”] It was published a while back [March 1976] in Esquire. It’s a piece from a work that I’ve been doing for some time called The Demon Box. The Demon Box is a way of trying to write a novel, and keep your mind scattered upon raising four teenage kids,

Read More

First Party At Ken Kesey’s With Hell’s Angels

A classic Ginsberg poem from the ‘Sixties, first published in the collection, Planet News First Party At Ken Kesey‘s With Hell’s Angels Cool black night thru redwoodscars parked outside in shadebehind the gate, stars dim abovethe ravine, a fire burning by the sideporch and a few tired souls hunched overin black leather jackets. In the hugewooden house, a yellow chandelier at 3 A.M. the blast of loudspeakershi-fi Rolling Stones Ray Charles BeatlesJumping Joe Jackson and twenty youthsdancing to the vibration thru the floor,a little weed in the bathroom, girls in scarlettights, one muscular smooth skinned mansweating dancing … Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

[Neal Cassady – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

[Neal Cassady – original manuscript for “The First Third”]

Neal Cassady‘s birthday today, “cocksman and Adonis of Denver”. Had he lived, he would have been 88 years old.

Hear him with The Grateful Dead quietly noodling behind him (recorded live at The Strait Theater, San Francisco, July 23 1967)

Listen again, driving the bus for the Merry Pranksters, rapping some more Hear some recollections from some of his friends

Here‘s Beat artist Robert Branaman recalling his friendship with Neal Cassady – filmed by … Read More