Meditation and Poetics – 38 (Reznikoff – 8)

Continuing with Charles Reznikoff   What I want to do, since we’ve got (a few) minutes, is some brief poems that he did in 1934“Jerusalem the Golden was published by the Objectivist Press from 10 West Thirty-Sixth Street, New York in 1934. The Press consisted of Reznikoff, George Oppen and Louis Zukofsky. It was an outgrowth of Zukofsky’s editorial work for the “Objectivist” number of Poetry (magazine) (February 1931) and An Objectivist Anthology published in France in 1931 by George and Mary Oppen under the imprint “Two Publishers””“The Objectivist Press is an organization of writers who are publishing their own work … Read More

To Aunt Rose – (Three Renditions)

One of Allen’s most accomplished early poems is our spotlight today – “To Aunt Rose” –   “A memory flash 1958 Paris. My favorite Aunt Rose (1900-1940) took care of me weekends when my mother was ill – Books named are my late father Louis Ginsberg‘s. It was a big event to publish a volume of poetry in those days! –  Rose Gaidemak died of septicemia..” This audio is taken from a reading at San Francisco State University’s Poetry Center on April 27, 1959. It was written in 1958 and published in 1961, included as part of the collection, … Read More

Happy Birthday John Sinclair

From the 1995 retrospective of the pioneering ’70’s Detroit rock band, The UpKiller Up! – this bonus cut – “Prayer For John Sinclair”, an agit-prop chant by Allen Ginsberg It’s 1971 and John Sinclair (“Ten for Two” – ten years for two joints!) is, most definitely, a political prisoner. So hear him (Allen) intone:  “Trick or treat. Year after year. Literary persons, Ed Sanders, Robert Creeley, myself organization, the American chapter of PEN Club representing one  thousand one hundred writers have petitioned the state of Michigan for release of poet-musician John Sinclair from entrapment … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 119 – (An American Place)

So, actually, what we’re all talking about in terms of spiritual revolution is, in a way, continuing the tradition of person – democratic person, taking his own life as sacred, and being treated sacredly by neighbors and by state, which Hartley pronounces, after (Walt) Whitman, and (about) which he agrees with (William Carlos) Williams and that whole group, looking for an American place, looking for a place for themselves. And that terminology of “place”, you’ll see continual in (Charles) Olson and (Robert) Creeley – that’s one of Creeley’s favorite words – “place”. And, for him, it’s not only … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 61 – (Michael McClure)


                                           GOOOOOOR! GOOOOOOOOOO! 


        Student: I want to mention that Michael McClure has created something called  a Grahh language.. AG: Yeah, beast language. Student: (It’s in) Ghost Tantras. AG: Ghost Tantras, yeah. Student:  ..which is, all the way, what is it, ninety-nine? AG: Ninety-nine poems, or so [ninety-nine]. He was inspired by listening to the lions in the San Francisco Zoo, and listening to whale sounds and coyote

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Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday

[Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)]

Irwin Allen Ginsberg in Newark, New Jersey, June 3, 1926, Allen would have been 88 years old today. Happy Birthday, Allen!  Happy Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday, everyone. In celebration of an extraordinary life (and an exemplary death), we feature today Colin Still‘s masterly 1997 documentary No More To Say & Nothing To Weep For, originally commissioned by Channel 4 in England, and originally intended as a wider, more substantial profile (it was tragically cut short, or rather, re-envisioned, by Allen’s diagnosis of liver cancer, an event that took place just as the crew had arrived in … Read More

Poetry In Motion

Ron Mann’s groundbreaking 1982 film, Poetry In Motion, (we have featured, in the past, snippets, including Allen’s enthusiastic “Capitol Air” performance) is now available, in its entirety, on the incomparable UbuWeb.  From their informative notes:  “It was re-released in 1994 in an innovative format on CD-Rom..and, in 2002, as a DVD. Poetry In Motion 25 was also made available (“a one-hour television special featuring outtakes from Poetry In Motion with many of the artists featured in the original film”, (different poems, different settings), “plus a bunch of new faces (including Peter Orlovsky, Alice Notley, Jerome Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 169

Neal Cassady Collected Letters

March 21, in case you didn’t know it, has been officially declared by the UN (by UNESCO) “World Poetry Day” Fanny Wallendorf‘s wonderful translations into the French of Neal Cassady‘s Letters (“Un truc tres beau qui contient tout”)  (“It’s a beautiful thing, with everything in it”) –  (the title, taken from Neal’s 1948 letter to his pal, Bill Tomson) have just been (just this past month) published.  See here and here. ( note – texte en francais) We should point out that the book only covers the years 1944-1950 (a second, concluding, volume is due … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 163


[Allen asleep in Vancouver 1963 (from the Bobbie-Louise Hawkins home-movies]

We’ve spoken of the Allen and Robert Creeley relationship before (and will again). Meantime, glimpse the two of them together (and a whole roster of other “famous names” –  “company”, in Bob’s memorable term – Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, John WienersDenise Levertov, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Tuli Kupferberg, Ed Sanders, Ed Dorn, Alex Trocchi..  The list goes on.  Charles Bernstein has generously put up Bobbie Louise Hawkins‘ old home-movies (from 1962 to 1965) up on PennSound (and on … Read More

Robert Creeley – Selected Letters

Picture of The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley We’ve already noted the new titles, essential titles, by Robert Duncan. The University of California Press now publishes another essential book, this time from Robert Creeley – “The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley” (following on from his Collected Poems (in two volumes) and The Collected Essays (which is available, incidentally, on line, in its entirety)) Letters to Allen? – well, we counted twelve letters in the collection, (ok, nine letters, two faxes and one postcard! – this is a “thoroughly modern” collection, that includes, not only letters, but postcards, faxes – and e-mails!). The earliest is … Read More