Gary Snyder’s Birthday

[“On Prose vs Poetry, Work Poems” – Gary Snyder – speaking and reading at the 10th Annual Robert Creeley Awards, Acton, Massachusetts, 2010]

It’s Gary Snyder‘s birthday today. He’s 83 years old.  We draw your attention first to our two earlier Gary Snyder Birthday posts on the Allen Ginsberg Project – here and here.  The local, has, of course, always been a (the) crucial context, so here’s Gary on local (NCTV-11) Nevada tv, in May of last year, being, casually but respectfully, interviewed by Lew Sitzer (the interview begins approximately one-and-three-quarter minutes in, and lasts approximately 60 minutes … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 67 (William Carlos Williams 11)

[William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) – Photograph by Jonathan Williams – from “A Palpable Elysium: Portraits of Genius and Solitude]

(Continuing with Allen Ginsberg’s class on “Spontaneous Poetics” at Naropa Institute, from June 28 1976)

AG: Breath-stop is the next measuring concept. In (William Carlos) Williams case, and in Robert Creeley‘s case, and in my case, and in Charles Olson’s case, and in the practice of many modern poets, one way they divide the line when they’re doing free verse is.. (because these are all the elements, still, in open-form verse, (that) I’m talking about, saying there’s a … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 65 (William Carlos Williams 9)

Student: Allen, I’ve heard a lot about that poem of Williams about a cat walking on a fence. Do you think you could find that one?

AG: A poem about a cat walking on a fence?

Student: Yeah.

AG: I could find it somewhere but it would take a while and I would spend so much time looking over it that everybody would get bored and think I was a drag.

Student: (Then) don’t.

AG: I think it ends with the cat putting his feet into a flower-pot, stepping carefully off. Just like the same mindfulness (of) the sparrow Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 38 (Reading List 9) (Charles Olson, Pablo Neruda)

[Charles Olson (1919-1970)]

AG: I was thinking originally, when I came in to move on from ballads to those songs – (Thomas Nashe, James Shirley – and I will get, I think, to Shirley at any rate), but I want to just finish off with this list up to, let us say, Charles Olson, because it’s up to that point that, after (Robert) Creeley, from Creeley on up, at least half the class has read something, so I’ll leave any further suggestions to a written list that I’ll make up. But of Olson, I‘d suggest the

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John Wieners Birthday

[John Wieners & Allen Ginsberg, Allen’s East 12th St apt, October 3, 1985. Photo snapped by Raymond Foye. c Allen Ginsberg Estate]

The late great poet, John Wieners would have been 79 years old today. Happy Birthday, dear John, in Eternity, in Heaven! We’ll point you, first of all, to our 2011 birthday posting and to these remarkable Wieners recordings and to this, his contemporaneous (1959) observations on Allen. Lost and Found also recently published selected letters between John Wieners and Charles Olson (and John Latta‘s intelligent thoughts coming off those volumes may be read here and hereRead More

Paris Records

Paris Records have got to be the best kept secret of the last 10 years, but hopefully that will all change with their revamped website making all their back catalog heaps more accessible. Paris Records is the brainchild of Michael Minzer & producer Hal Willner, these two all the while concocting genius projects dating back to Allen’s 1987 The Lion For Real, and William Burroughs’ Dead City Radio. More recently they released Gregory Corso’s Die on Me and a second Corso that includes Marianne Faithfull titled Lieders (there was just too much good materiel here not to release this … Read More