May Day (Kral Majales)

May Day. May Day. Revolution in the air. We welcome today this guest posting from Czech Beat scholar and Allen’s good friend, Josef Rauvolf

The King of May Revisited

When, on May the first, 1965, a thirty-nine-year-old Allen Ginsberg drove through the streets of Prague, observing the atmosphere in the crowded streets and in the park, where later the celebration and elections would take place, he definitely had good reason to feel elated.  As the students’ candidate for Kral Majales, (King of May), he could, reasonably confidently, count on being elected.

Actually, he was already King of Prague.  In the … Read More

The Barry Farber Interview – 1

 

[Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1966. photo: Larry Keenan Jr. ]

Drawing this weekend from the remarkable Stanford archives. We begin with a tape from 1976, Allen and company in conversation with conservative talk-show host Barry Farber, a two-hour radio appearance (We’ll be featuring it in segments – In the first, today, the opening salvos, he has to defend himself against Farber’s avuncular but also barbed and somewhat patronizing knee-jerk anti-Communism)

BF: Broadcasters all like to do different things with Allen Ginsberg. I’m going to copy what Bill Buckley did with him one time on television I … Read More

USA Poetry – Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, 1965

We’ve been featuring, these last few months, video from the Stanford University Archives (a number of intriguing videos of Allen reside there, though curiously, not this one – Allen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1965, from the ground-breaking WNET television series, USA Poetry, directed, as they all were, by the remarkable poet and filmmaker, Richard O Moore).

We’ll be featuring more from USA Poetry in the weeks ahead. But to start off with, Allen (filmed on two occasions, July 18 and December 14, 1965 – the broadcast went out the week of March 7 1966) .

The video begins with … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 319

“Hates dull teachers and Republicans,” , “May all of your 50 children be Democrats” – Yesterday an inscribed copy of Allen’s 1943 Paterson High School yearbook went up for auction (see here for a detailed earlier report)

The estimated value was $3,000-$5,000.  It apparently didn’t  meet that reserve price – too high?

More on the recent digitalization of “Howl”  (recently reported on here and here – and here)

“I don’t think he would be out of touch with the role of history in the last few months,…He’d be pushing for the ouster of Trump. He’d be in the … Read More

Allen Ginsberg at Cheltenham 1993

Allen Ginsberg, in 1993, reading at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in England. The feature today on The Allen Ginsberg Project. Allen reads a selection of poems, (mostly from White Shroud and the, subsequently-published Cosmpolitan Greetings

Introduction: Good evening everybody and some of you I’m sure came to the event where Allen Ginsberg was being interviewed by John Calder here today and will have suffered as Mr Ginsberg did the problems of the weather and British Rail. Years ago Allen Ginsberg wrote of Jack Kerouac that he was the sole full-moving thing, earlier today I’m afraid Allen Ginsberg was the sole … Read More

Monday May 1st

[Mayday – Eric Drooker

Mayday – always a big day on the Allen Ginsberg Project

For an extended look at Allen – the May Day King  – see here

“And I am the King of May, which is the power of sexual youth,/and I am the King of May, which is industry in eloquence and action in amour,/and I am the King of May, which is long hair of Adam and the Beard of my own body/and I am the King of May which is Kral Majales in the Czechoslovakian tongue..”… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 302

jack-kerouac-e-neal-cassady

[Neal Cassady and Jack  Kerouac]

[Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac – The Joan Anderson Letter via Heritage Auctions]

The legendary Joan Anderson letter is back in the news again. “The seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Neal Cassady’s epic letter to Jack Kerouac, which, for almost sixty years, was thought missing and then was miraculously rediscovered and put up for auction (only to, surprisingly, fail to reach its asking price) is up for auction again.

The auction date is March 8. Bidding begins approximately February 17th (next week). Full details may be found at Heritage Read More

May Day

[May Day – street poster design by Eric Drooker] May Day. May Day Greetings from The Allen Ginsberg Project! With Allen this day (today) is always a special day. Remembering his pivotal (all-too-brief) tenure (in Prague, in 1965, the “Prague Spring“) as “King of May” (Kral Majales) – and also his old IWW, “Wobbly”, roots – “America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies/ America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I’m not sorry” – we always take great pleasure in spotlighting this (from Cosmopolitan Greetings – a … Read More