July 12 1995 – Part One (Ginsberg, Blaser, Brown)

Anniversaries. We love anniversaries.  July 12, 1995.  The above group-reading at Naropa, twenty-two years on. The above six were joined by Steven Taylor (on several pieces, as accompanist) and Andrew Schelling and Max Regan giving introductions).  The tape begins in media res with Allen reading  from his “visionary dream”  of the past January (January 14. 1995) , followed by “Newt Gingrich Declares War On “McGovernik Counterculture” , “The Ballad of the Skeletons”  (“Skeleton Keys”),  and “New Stanzas For Amazing Grace”

Allen Ginsberg: “(Poetry America was born before us & will live after us — and would’ve been visible … Read More

Jack Collom (1931-2017)

Following the death of Larry Fagin, news reaches us this morning of the death of another of the great Naropa poet-teachers, Jack Collom. When Allen and Anne Waldman set up the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in 1974 in Boulder, Colorado, Colorado already had one distinctive inventive joyful maverick poet at hand, Jack Collom. He was swiftly engaged in the experiment and soon (not soon enough, as we recall) became an integral part of the faculty. This page (from the Naropa University Archive) provides links to countless instances of Jack’s participation. We might, arbitrarily, single out … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 322

The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience, as tuned by Allen Ginsberg on Omnivore Recordings  (first time on CD & digital, including rare and previously unreleased material).  As anticipated, the raves are coming in.

Here’s Thom Jurek on the allmusic web-site, singing the praises of what he refers to as a “treasure” of a document.

“It’s impossible to overestimate Ginsberg’s  influence on American culture; likewise, these recordings are nothing less than an integral, inseparable part of his oeuvre. It’s obvious that while Ginsberg took great delight in making these recordings, he also took them very seriously; his intent is … Read More

Naropa Summer Writing Program 2017

Starting tomorrow – the 2017 session of the Naropa Summer Writing Program.

Here are all the details. From June 11 to July 1st – “The New Weathers” – Anne Waldman explains: “By The New Weathers, we intend to name the ramifications of climate change wrought in the Anthropocene. The luminous details evidencing these changes abound, and daily the case of inevitably grows. These are urgent days, and a new world is possible––and this world is yet worth struggling for. To face facts with creative and spirited resolve; to see through webs of ignorance and power; to witness and study, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg reading at Warwick University 1979 (continues)

De Amerikaanse dichter Allen Ginsberg in 1979 in de Gentse Poëziewinkel.

[ Allen Ginsberg at the Ghent Poetry Shop, 1979, photo: Michiel Hendryckx]

Allen Ginsberg reading at Warwick University, November 1979

continuing from here

AG I’ll begin with a recent song, similar to what we started with, in the sense that it has a rest in it, like “Lie Down you lie Down”. Actually I was thinking, while writing this thing, of Thomas Campion in his measure of vowels and the rests, where he breaks time, like dancers

[Beginning at approximately forty-two-and-a-half minutes in (with harmonium accompaniment and with an extended sequence of nonsense syllables – baddadum-bom-ba – and … Read More

Warwick 1979 (Ginsberg-Orlovsky-Taylor-Pickard)

rain

[Steven Taylor, Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky. Photo: Saul Shapiro]

screenshot-2017-01-08-16-23-03

[Tom Pickard]

Last week, we featured a 1979 reading (November 6 1979) by Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky (and Steven Taylor) in Warwick, England. This week a further concert from that same visit (this time at the University and featuring the active participation of the English poet Tom Pickard)

Audio for this occasion may be accessed here

Student/Organizer: We welcome to Warwick, Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard

AG: We’ll begin with music from a book called Mind Breaths, Poems 1972-1977, by myself, Allen … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 235

Featuring shots last week from 1967’s fabled Human Be-In. Here’s another one – from Lisa Law

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

and here’s Lisa Law’s famous ecstatic one

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

And here’s a couple more from the generous and talented Lisa

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 222

The Academy of American Poets, on the occasion of his 89th birthday, gave Allen a tribute (the key component of which is this wonderful video of him and Steven Taylor on the rooftop of his East 12th Street, East Village apartment, in his final year, 1997, performing “A Western Ballad” (“the first song I ever wrote”). This video was produced and directed by Leita Luchetti as a part of the Poetry Breaks. series.More kudos for Allen, he was posthumously inducted, in 2015, (alongside Isaac Asimov, Dawn Powell, Francine Prose, Colm Tóibín, children’s book author Ezra Jack Keats and … Read More

And All The Hills Echo-ed – Ginsberg in 1986 in Belgrade

“And all the hills echo-ed” – Allen delighted in performing this one – “The Nurse’s Song” (from “Songs of Innocence and Experience” by William Blake). 

Here’s two alternative versions of the song  here and here 

The one featured today, (showing him performing it in 1986, in Belgrade, accompanied, as ever, by the redoubtable and accomplished Steven Taylor), is excerpted from Milhailo Ristic‘s 2011 film of Allen, Hydrogen Jukebox  (Hidrogenski dzuboks)“And all the hills echo-ed” (the last line) – “The last line is like a mantra repeated over and over again – and so we can all sing along..because, … Read More

Wednesday June 3 – Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday

Every year it blossoms. The tree planted in memory of Allen in the back yard at St Mark’s Church – the flowering dogwood, the good old Kousa dogwood. It did it again this year (See previous flowering dogwood herehere and here) HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN!  Birthday celebrations tonight and a stellar reading in New York City at Poets House to launch the eagerly-anticipated publication of The Essential Allen Ginsberg. Readings and performances of the poet’s work included in the collection by Bob Rosenthal, Eliot Katz, Steven Taylor, Eileen Myles, Sharon Mesmer, Lee Ann Read More