Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 371 (Gay Pride)

[The original rainbow flag designed, in 1978, by Gilbert Baker]

Gay Pride in San Francisco and New York this weekend

 

Allen Ginsberg interviewed on Stonewall Nation, (WBFO-FM, SUNY, Buffalo), October 6, 1978, by Alex Van Oss and Al Hershberger (recording courtesy the incomparable PennSound)

AVO: You’ve been out as gay for so many years. Were you ever in the closet?

AG: I was, very much so, in Columbia, when I was going to school, at first, the first year. I was afraid somebody would find out, actually, and I never.. didn’t want to tip my mitt … Read More

Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg November 1957

[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s  Jack Kerouac-Writer ]

Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris.  Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.

Dear Allen.  Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s]  “sweetly in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 335

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time,  “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period”  (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 333

Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network –  “The Transcultural Beat Generation”  is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”.  The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.

Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 332

[Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, and John Ashbery – (Photographer Unknown)]

“….exquisite mind cartoons that could be heard with eyes closed, the voice perfectly ordinary with the slight edge of extravagant conversational camp, a mind artifice not unnatural to hypnagogic revery, deceptive, till you hear the chasm landscapes and awkward universes created and contradicted in vast gas-deposit shocking trivial universal mind.”

Allen Ginsberg – from an introduction to a reading by John Ashbery, at Naropa Institute, 1975.

Hear Ashbery’s reading (along with W.S.Merwin) on that occasion here

John Ashbery’s passing last weekend continues to send shockwaves.

A selection of … Read More

Sept 5 – On The Road – 60th

Sixty years ago today, Jack Kerouac‘s ground-breaking seminal  “Beat Generation” novel,  On The Road, was published by Viking Press. The book was conceived and composed several years earlier.

[Original “Self-Instructions” list for composing On the Road. Typescript,  1951. New York Public Library, Berg Collection, Jack Kerouac Archive]

[Jack Kerouac. Design for front cover of proposed paperback edition of On the Road, 1952. NYPL, Berg Collection, Jack Kerouac Archive]

[The legendary 120-foot long  ms. of On the Road  – “the scroll”]

Here’s a selection of On The Road  covers:

and many more (from different translations of the book)  can be … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 331

[Allen Ginsberg, 1968.  Photo: Larry Keenan Jr.]

More Ginsberg memories (see last week) – Judy Goldhaft, director of The Planet Drum Foundation, recollects an unusual seder:

“For the first time since the crucifixion, there was a total lunar eclipse on the night of the seder in 1968. That apparently happened also on the night of the Last Supper and we were all aware of this. We had a seder near Duboce Park. [San Francisco] The Hells Angels were there and the Diggers were there. My son asked the Four Questions, and…asked  Allen Ginsberg [as tradition … 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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 300

[“Ground Zero for the Beat Generation” – Unidentified Woman reading from “Howl” inside the 7 Arts Coffee Gallery in New York City, c.1957 – Photograph by Dave Heath]

No Friday-Round Up last week, so a little catch up today, starting with Sean Elder’s Gary Snyder interview, “National Treasure,” in Lion’s Roar.

 [Gary Snyder at the Center For Interfaith Relations’ 2014 Festival of Faiths: Sacred Earth, Sacred Self]

GS: “The first time I met Allen Ginsberg was at Rexroth’s house—Allen had just come up from Mexico. The first time I saw  Kerouac was when Allen brought him to … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on Jack Kerouac (1982 Workshop at the Kerouac Conference)

 

[“Jack Kerouac wandering along East 9th Street after visiting (William) Burroughs at our pad, passing statue of Congressman Samuel “Sunset” Cox, “the letter-carrier’s friend” in Tompkins Square toward Corner of Avenue A, Lower East Side, he’s making a Dostoyevsky-mad face or Russian basso be-bop Om, just walking around the neighborhood, then involved with The Subterraneans, pencils & notebook in wool shirt-pocket, Fall 1953, Manhattan” – (Photograph and Inscription by Allen Ginsberg) – c. Allen Ginsberg Estate.]

We’ve been in the past weeks spotlighting Clark Coolidge and Robert Creeley’s remarks at the 1982 symposium on Jack Read More