Alice Notley on Allen Ginsberg – 2

Alice Notley on the internationalism of Allen Ginsberg continued from yesterday

AN: The second poem selected by chance (I am opening the book randomly, plonk, trying to be vaguely chronological is “Going to Chicago” – dated August 24, 1968, so this is on the way to the famous Republican convention in Chicago nominating (Richard) Nixon [editorial note – the 1968 Republican Convention was at Miami Beach; the Democratic Convention in Chicago took place a few weeks later] and characterized by violence on all sides, street … Read More

Compositional Practice (Sustained Attention – 2)

Allen Ginsberg on compositional practice continues from here

Student: Ted (Berrigan) says you write poems when you’re on a retreat.

AG:  Sometimes. If I’m somewhere where I don’t have to do anything, then I tend to write. Like, I wrote a lot up in.. when I went up that week for the seminary I wrote a whole… about fourteen little poems. But that was because they had a poetry reading there, and so I wrote something to read. And I didn’t like the way.. their attitude there, so  I was trying to reflect on, straightforward, you know, fresh, perception, I’ll … Read More

Elazar Larry Freifeld Tel Aviv 1988 Interview

[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall.  Photograph by Steven Taylor]

Allen Ginsberg in Israel.

This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.

LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].

AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More

WNET Whalen & Snyder – Whalen

Continuing our spotlight on vintage tv, WNET’s extraordinary USA Poetry series. Today (this weekend) , Philip Whalen and Gary Snyder

[Philip Whalen (1923-2002)]

The only printed biography of the poet Philip Whalen is very brief. It reads, “born Portland, Oregon, October 1923, US Army Air Force 1943-1946, Reed College, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature and Languages, 1951.”

[Editorial note – this is in 1965 – the posthumus biography, Crowded By Beauty by David Schneider, appeared in 2015]

Although Philip Whalen is frequently identified as a poet of the Beat Generation, the character of his life and work has little … Read More

Eric Mottram and Philip Whalen 1985 Naropa Reading

 

Eric Mottram]

A vintage Naropa reading from July 21 1985 in two parts for this weekend.

Today, the first part, features Eric Mottram and Philip Whalen. Anne Waldman gives the introductions.

Allen Ginsberg tomorrow.

AW: We’re pleased to have Eric Mottram, Philip Whalen and Allen Ginsberg reading – and Eric and Philip will be reading first and then we’ll have a short break and Allen will complete the evening

I have a couple of announcements to make. Please no smoking in this room and no flash photographs and also I’d like to announce there’ll be copies of this … Read More

Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Remembering today one of the great Buddhist teachers, Suzuki Roshi,  Shunryu Suzuki, influential Soto Zen priest and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the first Soto Zen training monastery in the United States and one of the very first Buddhist training monasteries to be established outside of Asia)

Suzuki was also the author of the hugely popular Zen Mind, Beginners Mind  (1970). a key book from a key figure in the spreading in the West of the dharma.

Here’s Allen – from an interview, circa.1996, with David Chadwick: 

DC: Can you remember the … 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 – 338

[Michael McClure, at Jerry Brown rally, Washington Square Park, New York City, April 1992. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

It’s Michael McClure’s birthday. The legendary Beat poet turns, astonishingly, 85 today. Happy Birthday, Michael!

Some of our previous McClure postings here, here and here.  Michael on Bob Dylan here.  Reading  with Allen in 1976 at Naropa, and with Diane di Prima in Golden Gate Park here. 

Lowell resident, and erudite maverick Jack Kerouac scholar, Paul Maher Jr, has a new book on Kerouac that we want to spread the word about, I Am The Revolutionary: Young Jack Kerouac, & … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – I – Introduction)

A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)

AG: Well, good evening, Rinpoche [Lobsang Samten Rinpoche] and I met very recently at the house … Read More

Saturday May 20 (Robert Creeley)

Robert Creeley would have been ninety-one tomorrow, May 21st (he died in 2005). In honor of the great man and his birthday, we present, this weekend, another transcription from the extraordinary Bay Area Writers series (from back in 1975-76) – (see also here and here) – Rudimentary recording equipment, so there are, understandably, a few technical problems (particularly at the beginning and the end of tape one (the main tape) but.. what a treasure! , what a remarkable record!

RC: I’m curious, like.. I gather some of you.. that this is a class for some of you and some … Read More