Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 136

[Allen Ginsberg’s old shoes (a pair of sneakers made in then-communist Czechoslovakia) and a letter from Lawrence Ferlinghetti – part of the Allen Ginsberg Archives at Stanford University]

An interesting review/profile/spotlight, coming off Bill Morgan’s recent talk at Stanford, the home of Allen’s Archive  – and an enthused response (to that curious thing – the poetry archive) lead off the Friday Round-Up this week.  and we mentioned already Peter Orlovsky’s archives, right? Pat Nolan’s “The Quantum of Kerouac” in the current Poetry Flash is definitely worth a read. 

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City Lights Celebration

City Lights 60th Anniversary celebrations tomorrow. In anticipation of that august occasion, we look back on (and draw your attention to) the four-part series that appeared on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary, in the “local paper”, the San Francisco Chronicle.

Among those interviewed or mentioned – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Shigeyoshi Murao, co-founder Peter Martin, co-owner, Nancy Peters, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, David Meltzer, Joanne Kyger, Diane di Prima, David Amram, Larry Keenan, Robert Creeley, Henri Lenoir, (founder of Vesuvio‘s), Enrico Banducci, (founder of the hungry iRead More

Rebels – A Journey Underground

Our feature today – A New Kind of Bohemia, segment two in a a six-part series by Kevin Alexander, made in 1999 for Canadian television, Rebels – A Journey Underground. (The other episodes, incidentally, are also well worth catching – see here)

From the episode synopsis – “Following World War II, a new period of post-war social complexity overtook America. It was during this turbulent, often repressive Cold War time that Jack Kerouaccoined the phrase “beat” and gave birth to a new literary movement. This film follows the activities of this new breed of writer – Kerouac, (Neal)

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Friday Weekly Round-Up – 129

Ginsbergian Zeitgeist – We’re, admittedly, a little late in putting this up – but here‘s (recently-deposed) Russian power-broker/politician, Vladislav Surkov reading Allen Ginsberg (in English!) – “Sunflower Sutra” (the English begins approximately two minutes in) – [thanks too to “Cloudpine” – we should point out, entirely unrelated – for his fantasy Alexander-Rodchenko-inspired Howl cover!]

“No hope Communism/No hope Capitalism” – Here’s another surprising sighting, Gary Silverman’s “I saw the best taxes of my generation..”, [sic], an extended Ginsbergian metaphor in..(of all places) The Financial Times!

So, looking back on last week, birthday week… First, the New York

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Kerouac – On The Road to Desolation

[Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovksy and fellow meditators, blocking the supply rail for Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility, Jefferson County, Colorado, June 1978. photo c. Joe Daniel]

One year on from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (of March 11). Here’s one of numerous news reports (this one from Aljazeera). Here’s Aileen Mioko Smith, executive-director of the Kyoto-based Green Action, speaking on Democracy Now! – Here’s our old friend (much-missed) Nanao Sakaki (in 1999, wise and prophetic – “Stone Age Japanese never knew Atomic Energy./ Now nuclear power plants are/ Poisoning modern Japan to a slow death”). Here … Read More

Ferlinghetti’s 94th Birthday

Lawrence Ferlinghetti turns 94 today – Happy Birthday, Lawrence!  – Chris Felver’s full-length documentary, Ferlinghetti – A Rebirth of Wonder is currently going the rounds and is undoubtedly a must-see. Last year’s landmark art-show – Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti  (at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art) was a singular event, a major retrospective. Lawrence is interviewed about that (and about other matters) here.

Here’s previous birthday-posts on the Ginsberg blog – a links-rich posting from last year, and a salutation from 2011 (including a link to him speaking on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 113

From last weekend’s Round-Up: 

Beat Memories – the show of Allen’s photographs currently up in New York, at the New York University’s Grey Gallery (until April 6), has inspired some intelligent response. Here’s Roslyn Bernstein in Guernica. Here’s Seth Rogovoy in the Jewish Daily Forward. Here’s Alana Shilling in The Brooklyn Rail. Here’s Arielle Budick in The Financial Times. Here’s Martin Chilton in the Daily Telegraph. Here’s Mariano Andrade’s AFP report. Here’s the Huffington Post (with a slide-show!) – and Flavorwire with even more of a side-show!)

The show continues to gather international responses – hereRead More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 109

Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg. The long-awaited Kill Your Darlings opens at the Sundance Film Festival today. More on that in the days ahead. And more too on the adaptation of Kerouac’s Big Sur (also opening in the coming weeks at Sundance).

Still with the movies, Chris Felver‘s documentary, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, debuts in select US theaters, February 8th, featuring Ferlinghetti, Allen, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka, Dennis Hopper, Bob Dylan, and a host of others. Here’s the trailer.

(The trailer for Felver’s earlier Ferlinghetti film, incidentally, can be seen here.)… Read More

San Francisco 1957 Silent Footage

We featured footage from the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archives a couple of weeks ago. Here’s more – silent footage from circa 1957 – San Francisco, City Lights, Lawrence Ferlinghetti – a very particular time and place – courtesy KPIX (Channel 5) news – “Includes scenes of Lawrence Ferlinghetti arranging copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and Other Poems” in the store window, as their advertised pocket book of the week. Also features brief views of Columbus Avenue and Ferlinghetti smoking a pipe and adding other books to the display outside”. … Read More