Introduction: Good evening everybody and some of you I’m sure came to the event where Allen Ginsberg was being interviewed by John Calder here today and will have suffered as Mr Ginsberg did the problems of the weather and British Rail. Years ago Allen Ginsberg wrote of Jack Kerouac that he was the sole full-moving thing, earlier today I’m afraid Allen Ginsberg was the sole … Read More
[“To sweet Daphne from her “father” William Carlos Williams” – inscription on a copy, (in his shaky post-stroke hand), of his 1955 volume, Journey to Love – to his daughter-in-law, Daphne Spence Williams – William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)]
March 4 1963, the date of William Carlos Williams‘ passing. He “died in his sleep, at home, of a cerebral hemorrhage that was not unexpected”. He was seventy-nine years old. Allen’s great master and teacher, we celebrate him extensively and frequently here on this blog. Today, we’ll draw your attention to his (1964 posthumous) Paris Review interview
“Growing up with queer films, there was always some sort of stigma attached to gay characters or gay sexuality, and I didn’t want the sex scene to feel like that in any way. I wanted the arc of the scene to go from nervousness to a place of pure enjoyment … Read More
AG: Edmund Spenser is a colossus, and he’s so big that I think we’ll go around him Except, maybe, one or two, one or two little short things – the Epithalamion – a big Leviathan poem here, marriage poem. What I would suggest is that you go home and read it. It’s got a great stanza form, it’s got a great rhythmic form. So what we might do (here) is read just the first and last stanzas, just to get the stanzaic form get a taste.. Page 162 – I’m sorry..
Peter Orlovsky: The Howard Johnson’s..when we were going along the highway, we stopped at the Howard Johnson’s. And they had (have) these little cards, you know – What’s your waitresses number? Did you like the way she served you? What did she serve you? Was it enough? Was it too small? Was it too large? Do you have any comments about Howard Johnson’s? (the inside … Read More
AG:…..in that Williams was still preoccupied by some kind of modernism, some kind of Cubist abstraction, whereas Cope was really direct, (writing) just simply directly, writing out of his… ( – Allen is distracted – is that gone around all the way, this paper?)….whereas Cope was directly writing out of his eyesight and his… I think he’s more close too … Read More
[Kenneth Koch – Portrait of Kenneth Koch by Alex Katz]
Kenneth Koch Q & A from 1979 continues
KK: Maybe we should have some more questions. What would you like me to tell you about?
Student: What do you at Columbia?
KK: I teach three courses there. I’m a regular Professor. I teach a writing course with twelve students. It’s, I mean, in this writing course, it’s not just a poetry-writing course,
I have people writing poems and stories and plays. I even usually have them write, sometime in the year, one long lonely piece of criticism, because … Read More
Student: (I think) his style (David Cope‘s style) puts forth the position of being an observer rather than it being (creative). Instead of things coming out of the mind, the poet simply reflects what he sees..)AG: I think it’s a semantic question, actually. I mean, you know, he doesn’t simply reflect what he sees because, you see, you have to pick out something to see, or something is picked out to see. You don’t write about everything you see, otherwise you’d have thousands and thousands of pages all the time. It’s only those selected moments of perception that are … Read More