Allen Ginsberg, Salman Rushdie, & Meditation

Salman Rushdie, describing a moment, in 1989 in New York, in protective custody, following the issuing of the notorious fatwa  that followed on the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses

“I spent that day in a fourteenth-floor suite with at least twenty armed men. The windows were blocked by bullet-proof mattresses. Outside the door were more armed men with Schwarzenegger-sized muscles and weaponry. In this suite I had a series of meetings which must remain secret, except perhaps for one. I was able to meet with the poet Allen Ginsberg for twenty minutes.The moment he arrived, he pulled cushions … Read More

1974 – Scottish International Interview

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph(s) by Ian Dryden]

We’ve previously featured here footage from Allen’s 1973 visit to Scotland     ( a reading for the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow). We also featured some grainy footage (and some transcription from his press conference). Here (with some duplication) is the interview that appeared in Scottish International, September 1973. Allen, as a note in the magazine reveals, had been visiting with Chogyam Trungpa (in exile then in Scotland)  and the Buddhist community at Samye Ling monastery at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries, as well as giving readings and traveling around.  He had also taken time … Read More

Studs Terkel interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part two

Allen Ginsberg and Studs Terkel continuing from here

[At approximately half-way through their conversation, approximately thirty-two minutes in, Allen sings “Gospel Noble Truths” (“Born in this world, you’ve got to suffer..”) making several improvised additions –  (“no permanent soul!”,  “the dharma chakra”,  “Look what you’ve done – 1968” – “Let go, Studs!”)

AG: You looked like you didn’t want to “let go” of  “earth heaven and hell” there!.

ST: And as Ned Kelly, the bandit, said, before they hanged him, and they sprang the trap –  “That’s life! “. You said,  “Die when you die”. I was about to … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part one

[Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

We’ve already featured the classic 1959 Studs Terkel  WFMT radio interview with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso in seven sections – here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We also featured Allen and Philip Glass on Studs Terkel’s show in 1990 – here and here

We’ll be featuring, in the coming weeks, a third, a 1975 session with Allen and William Burroughs

but, first, this weekend, this, (courtesy George Drury and the remarkable trove which is the Studs Terkel Radio Archive) – Allen Ginsberg’s interview … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on David Letterman Show, 1982

Allen’s late-night American tv appearances – We’ve already featured a previous one (from May 10, 1994 on the Conan O’Brien tv show) –  here’s another appearance, the previous decade, (from “Late Night With David Letterman” – this program was broadcast on June 10, 1982, on NBC)

Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road !  Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation  (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Austin – Interview – 1978

Interviewer: So we want to figure out what’s best, you know, what will be most comfortable for you. What I want to do is an oral history of the ‘Sixties and Austin’s an interesting area because there’s a major university with a lot of anti-war… There was a segregtion case, a very famous law case here in 1959. There’s been an awful lot of work with the valley farm workers and Chicanos, plus we”ve got the Rothschilds here [sic], we’ve got all of LBJ‘s legacy. Basically, Austin’s sort of conservative but with the university and the State Capitol here, … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 48 (A Reminder – Meditation as Counterpoint)

[Allen Ginsberg, Boulder Colorado, June 1994. photo c. Steve Miles]

Allen’s  1981 Expansive Poetics class transcripts continue. Allen speaks out, noting Naropa’s current (1981) financial difficulties, but, “whether or not Naropa survives”… AG: I think one thing we have succeeded in doing [here at the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa Institute] is carrying on something that started with Black Mountain (College), which was that practicing poets teach poetry in a community of poets. The idea here was to add on practicing poets in a community of poets and meditators, which I thought was doubling the consciousness, or doubling … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1990 Loyola University reading

A Night With Allen Ginsberg – Allen Ginsberg’s reading at Loyola University, New Orleans, 1990. An eye-witness recalls:  “The overflow crowd filled up the aisles and the outside lobby, so he (Allen) invited audience members to sit on the stage with him. (we see them on the stage there)/ He also (that same visit) did a meditation workshop, and his Collected Poems had just appeared so he spent a whole afternoon signing copies and illustrating each with a drawing”.

 
AG: So, I’ll begin with music in honor of the President and the great phony war on dope. This is … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics- 129 (Blyth and Haiku)

 AG: I got some complaints that last time (that) I was  getting up in the air, reading too much and boring people, (which is probably true, because my attention wavered occasionally when I was reading through the Wordsworth – most of the time I was there and present, but my attention waved too, as your attention must have –  partly out of desperation, because, actually, (with Wordsworth) I’ve sort of run out of things to teach! – except the things that I knew already, like “Tintern Abbey”, or “Intimations of Immortality..”  I would, if I had it, read through … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics 128 – (Morning Meditation – 2)

[Buddhist Practitioners (students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) – Shambhala Training – Land O’ Lakes Seminary, 1976, Land O’Lakes,]

AG: How many here sit?  (How many) have sat? And how many have not? Raise your hands. Of those that raised their hands, how many have not gone to get instruction in sitting? Do you know? I guess you may or may not know about that, but part of the Naropa services includes free sitting instruction, which you can get by going up to the Naropa office at 1441 Broadway, and they’ll assign a meditation instructor to you, who will show you
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