Diane Di Prima‘s new book from City Lights – The 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
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”
“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.
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