Ezra Pound’s Birthday

October 30, the anniversary of the birthday of the forever-controversial, impossible-to-dispense-with Ezra Pound. There’s a new book coming out (it appeared in the UK earlier this year), focusing on Pound’s long post-World War II incarceration at St Elizabeth’s  – Daniel Swift’s The Bughouse – The Poetry, Politics and Madness of Ezra Pound.

Typically, it has elicited some “mixed” reviews.  Robert McCrum in The Guardian found it “enthralling”  but “sometimes awkward”,  (noting Swift’s “idiosyncratic biographical analysis that marries lit crit and memoir”)  Mark Ford, in the same newspaper, was more damning -(“Pound’s arraignment for treason and spell in a psychiatric hospital … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 326

John Ashbery

Today’s a grand day for American poetry, John Ashbery‘s 90th birthday! – Happy Birthday, John!

There’s a new biography (the first, actually) just out from FSG on John’s early life – The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life, by Karin Roffman (taking it up to his departure for France in the mid ‘Fifties and the publication of his first major book, Some Trees),  (she’s currently at work on a full biography)

Mark Ford’s review in The Guardian may be read hereEvan Kindley’s review in The New Republic may be read hereRead More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 29

[Allen Ginsberg & Ted Berrigan – Collaborative Postcard, February 11, 1982]
Trawling through E-bay, this past week, we came across this, Ted Berrigan and Allen Ginsberg’s collaborative poem, Reds:
There isn’t much to say to Marxists in Nicaragua
with .45’s
afraid of the U.S. Secretary of State, eating celery.
Back in New York, “we went to see a beautiful movie”,
said Allen Ginsberg. “It made me cry.”
“I hadda loan him my big green handkerchief,
to blow his nose on!” Peter Orlovsky laughed.
Some background. This is clearly an “out-take” from Berrigan’s 500 postcards project (a 1982 commission from … Read More