Tom Raworth (1938-2017)


[Tom Raworth – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]

Sad news to announce, the passing of one the great voices of poetry, and one of our dearest friends, Tom Raworth died today, after a long and protracted illness, aged 78.

From the Poetry Foundation website – “Writer, artist, teacher, and publisher Tom Raworth was born in South London. He attended the University of Essex; in 1970, he earned an MA in the theory and practice of literary translation. As founder of Matrix Press and co-founder of Goliard Press, Raworth was instrumental in bringing an entire tradition of American poetry to English … Read More

Carl Rakosi

[Carl Rakosi (1903-2004)] – Photograph by Gloria Graham]

Two introductions by Allen Ginsberg and one by Anselm Hollo to readings by Carl Rakosi (who shares the same birthday as the compiler of these notes) and who lived to be a spry one hundred. He would have been one hundred-and-eleven today! Allen Ginsberg’s Introduction to Carl Rakosi‘s reading at Naropa on June 30, 1987 (with David Cope) comes first (the entire reading can be listened to, in two parts – here – and here
AG: Carl Rakosi was born in Berlin in 1903. He was, for
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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 138

Introducing the Holy Litany Project. M.L.Kejara and Akina Rahman Khan hit upon the  interesting idea of perhaps updating Allen’s classic “America” for the 21st Century. They’re sending out an open call (0n Facebook) for new lines, new strophes – “We will try to emulate Ginsberg’s style..and update his work with our burning thoughts (contemporary thoughts) expressed in our own words.”…”Issues like the Zimmerman trial, environmentalism, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, healthcare, information-privacy etc”, could, they suggest, “be best communicated by poetry, in the way that Ginsberg voiced his own frustrations (in the ’50s) in (the poem) “America”..”..”The (new)
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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 134

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Alain Dister – via “Beat Generation/Allen Ginsberg” at ZKM]

Big Allen-celebration in San Francisco this evening, Beat Reunion For more details here.

The current July/August issue of Poetry magazine includes this memoir by Marjorie Perloff“Allen Ginsberg – Remembering A Rose Rabbi” – “I have been listening to (his) lectures and marveling at Allen’s interest in the minutiae of prosody“, she writes. She recalls his participation at the 1993 NPF (National Poetry Foundation) Conference (on American poetry of the (19)30’s) – (“(he) had been invited to pay homage to the ninety-year-old

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Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)

On July 19 1893 (July 7 on the Old Style Julian calendar) Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, the great Russian poet, was born. Here’s Mayakovsky reading An Extraordinary Adventure Which Happened To Me, Vladimir Mayakovsky, One Summer In The Country (the English translation, along with several other Mayakovsky translations, may be found here). And here’s a shorter piece (in English translation: And Could You?”). A recording of Mayakovsky’s great poem “At The Top of My Voice”, originally attributed to him, but now thought not to be him, is available here (Allen particularly admired this poem. As … Read More

Hart Crane’s Jump

 [Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 – April 27, 1932, photograph by Walker Evans]

Today marks the anniversary of the tragic death of the great American poet, Hart Crane (soon to be portrayed in the movie, The Broken Tower, by “our very own” James Franco!). Poete maudit, legendary suicide (“goodbye everybody!”) – Janet Hamill has most of the basic details.

Here’s William Logan in Poetry magazine, around the time of the publication of the Library of America’s edition of Crane’s Complete Poems, writing in defense of his less-than-committed response (“I’ve always loved Hart Crane, but I love him in fractions”): … Read More