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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 197

Diane Di Prima‘s new book from City LightsThe Poetry Deal is out. We’ve reported before about her recent troubling health difficulties. The emergencies still remain but still the urgency of the work, still the extraordinary achievement of the work. “In The Poetry Deal“, her publishers write, (di) Prima maps out over forty years of San Francisco history, from the culture of the late ‘Sixties, to her grief over her friends’ passing during the AIDS epidemic, to stories of her countercultural colleagues and the rapidly changing environment she has seen take place over the years in (San … Read More

Ed Sanders on Harry Smith

In anticipation of Ed Sanders’ seventy-fifth birthday tomorrow “Ed Sanders, poet and founding member of The Fugs, recalls his deep friendship with Harry Smith, compiler of the highly influential Anthology of American Folk Music. (Smith produced the Fugs’ first album in 1965) for Folkways Records“) “The recording sessions for Folkways Records resulted in the 1965 album “The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Point of Views, and General Dissatisfaction.” The album was reissued in 1966 as The Fugs First Album by the ESP-Disk Label, followed by several reissues with additional tracks”

[Harry Smith (1923-1991)]

(For more

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Allen in the ‘Sixties – Portland State College Readings

[Allen Ginsberg, April 23, 1969, at Portland State College – Photograph from Viking (PSU Yearbook, 1968-69), courtesy Portland State University Library’s Special Collection]

The big news last week, the discovery, initially, by Portland State University archivist, Christine Paschild, (with additional assistance by PSU library technician Carolee Harrison) of a remarkable collection of reel-to-reel audio tapes (275 hours, now transfered to digital format and made publicly available) – the historic and extraordinary Oregon Public Speakers Collection, featuring the voices of such singular cultural (and counter-cultural) figures as Robert F Kennedy, Carl Sagan, Linus Pauling, Stokely Carmichael, … Read More

New Stanzas for Amazing Grace

“I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place/ Where I was lost alone/ Folk looked right through me into space/And passed with eyes of stone..” Allen Ginsberg’s “New Stanzas for Amazing Grace”, an up-dated revisioning of an old song, was composed (in April 1994) at the request of Ed Sanders for his innovative project,  “The New Amazing Grace” (new lyrics, old melody), and was performed, in November of that year, as part of an all-star gathering at the Poetry Project (St Mark’s Church) in New York.

Here (courtesy of the soundtrack of the indispensible Jerry Aronson’s Life and Times of Allen Read More

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

[Pete Seeger (1919-2014)]

Fellow activists, fellow artists, fellow passionate devotees to peace, Allen and Pete Seeger were standing there together in 1969 [sic] at the founding of WTR (War Tax Resistance), a far-sighted organization founded by The War Resisters League and others, “in the belief that the right to conscientious objection belongs to all people, not just those of draft age”. WTR published a newsletter, two editions of a book, and helped establish 192 war tax resistance “centers” and 4o “alternative funds” across the country, moving to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1972 to become more centrally located. Pete, … Read More

Happy Birthday David Amram

A bit late notice, but for those of you in the New York City area, he’s celebrating his 80th at Symphony Space tonight, in the form of a benefit for Clearwater (founded by Pete Seeger) and The Woody Guthrie Foundation, titled: David Amram, The First 80 Years. Some things you can expect, above and beyond Mr. Amram’s ebullient good nature & music:

the New York premiere of Amram’s Symphonic Variations on A Song By Woody Guthrie the first ever concert performance of excerpts from Amram’s classic film scores Splendor In The Grass & The Manchurian Candidate a screening of … Read More