Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 375

The Beat Scene – Photographs by Burt Glenn – edited by Tony Nourmand and Michael Shulman (with an essay by Jack Kerouac), a dazzling portfolio of images shot between 1957 and 1960,  both in New York and San Francisco – close up, contemporaneous, and at the heart of the Beat phenomenon – has just recently (just this month) been published by Reel Art Press.

From the publishers’ notice:

“This magnificent volume features a remarkable collection of largely unseen photographs of the Beat Generation by renowned Magnum photographer Burt Glinn. This amazing, untouched treasure trove of images was … Read More

60th Anniversary of the Howl Verdict

Today is an historic day.  The 60th anniversary of the landmark Free Speech verdict. On this day in 1957, Judge Clayton Horn declared that “Howl” was not obscene.

As he announced:

“I do not believe that “Howl” is without redeeming social importance. The first part of “Howl” presents a picture of a nightmare world; the second part is an indictment of those elements in modern society destructive of the best qualities of human nature; such elements are predominantly identi­fied as materialism, conformity, and mechanization leading toward war. The third part presents a picture of an individual who is … Read More

Instigating the Howl Trial – March 25, 1957

Sixty years ago today, the US Customs, in the person of Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated five-hundred-and-twenty copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”  – a pivotal moment  

From Bill Morgan‘s  Howl on Trial – The Battle for Free Expression:

“The Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated 520 copies [of Howl ] because, as he said, “The words and the sense of the writing is obscene…you wouldn’t want your children to come across it.”   U.S. Customs Law required a Federal Judge, upon application of the U.S. Attorney,  to grant permission to destroy the books. But, as [City Lights publisher, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 204

Herbert Huncke Centennial Celebrations at the Beat Museum today – Laki VazakasHilary HolladayBen SchaferDennis McNally, Brenda Knight, Regina Marler and Tate Swindell look back upon and discuss Herbert Huncke’s genius.  Two weeks since the last Friday Round-Up, so a bit of catching up to do.  Here’s (talking of the Beat Museum), the meeting-up of Gerd Stern (the man erroneously accused of losing it) and Mike McQuate, the man largely responsible for saving it – tho’, as others have pointed out, Jean Spinosa should also be credited with exemplary dispersal of her … Read More