Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 248



Allen Ginsberg, June 1959 – Photograph by Joe Rosenthal

Peter Hartlaub‘s engaging article for the San Francisco Chronicle‘s sesquicentennial history project, (on the Beat Generation), is well worth reading, (as are the photographs (like the one above) worth perusing) – Allen reading Doctor Sax.  Here‘s a posting from earlier in the year on the Ginsberg Project (Robert Creeley’s 1982 remarks on that book) Open Culture features the Jack Kerouac recordings


Jack Kerouac on The Beat Generation – Verve LP, 1960

Here‘s, on the subject of Kerouac, the Ginsberg Project posting of Allen reading from Read More

William Burroughs 1980 Naropa Reading

            [William Burroughs – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © The Estate of Allen Ginsberg ]
Today, William Burroughs, from a three-person poetry reading that took place at Naropa Institute on August 13, 1980. (Peter Orlovsky, the concluding reader, we’ve already featured (see here)  – Harold Norse, the third of the readers, we’ll feature tomorrow. We meant to run this last week but we got distracted (sic)
AG: The three readers tonight are William Seward Burroughs, Harold Norse and Peter Orlovsky and they will read in that order, Mr Burroughs will read first, for probably twenty-five, … Read More

Allen to Peter, 1961 (on Dissolution of Ego)

 [Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky – Photograph by Robert Frank]

The Ginsberg-Orlovsky correspondence. Mindful that yesterday we provided you only with selected snippets. Here’s one uninterrupted letter from that voluminous correspondence (only a small segment of which was made available in Straight Hearts’ Delight – and only the Orlovsky side in Peter Orlovsky – A Life In Words.)   Here’s Allen writing from  ℅  U.S. Consul, Tangiers, Morocco, August 3rd, 1961, (to Peter in Athens) Dear Peter, Strange day yesterday, woke up depressed, thinking I am a poet, & all along had been your lover – I am … Read More

William Burroughs, 1989 – Part 2


William Burroughs audio (see yesterday) continues WSB: Cambridge Mass 1938 – that was the year of the big hurricane – Kells Elvins and your reporter were writing a shipwreck story based on the sinking of the Titanic . The Titanic was supposed to be sink-proof. It was all divided up into segments, you know, so if you have a leak here, the other compartments will keep the thing afloat. But the iceberg just sliced right through all the compartments, like a can opener. The ship went down in three hours with twelve hundred passengers. The Captain went down with … Read More

William Burroughs (1989 – Part 1)


William S Burroughs – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg © The Estate of Allen Ginsberg

  Always a pleasure to feature William Burroughs here on the Ginsberg blog. Today, a reading from July 1989

– “Art Now – A Day of Contemporary Art” – “A William S Burroughs reading, compiled from a number of works”  – Burroughs covers topics from miracles and magic to the Titanic, narcotics, the supernatural and hospitals”. WSB: Yes, Brion (Gysin) always told me that an artist has to go around and flog his paintings like a rug-merchant. He’s got to show up at all of these … Read More

A Detour (Exuberant Shakespearean Parody)


Student:  I have two questions, one is this – that the first time at a poetry reading, (which you’ve referred to here), when you get into writing poetry, do you think that first type of flowery, primary thing… I think, that anyone can, if they want to write poetry, can follow up and get naturally into that, you know. And if you’re crummy at it, it sounds like greetings cards…

AG: Yes Student:  …and if you’re good at it, it sounds like (Ken) Kesey gets into on grass here, when he’s doing all those Shakespearean rants and stuff.  And … Read More

Ginsberg’s Catullus



Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 – 54 BC)

Allen to his brother Eugene, August 14, 1954: “You would love Catullus. I read a collection of translations edited by an Aiken [The Poems of Catullus – edited by William A Aiken (1950)], and am reading him in Latin now with aid of a pony. Selections in anthologies won’t give you the idea. Get a book of translations from all times, from library. The Aiken book is good, includes translations by Ben Jonson, Byron, Landor, Campion, etc”

And a few months later, to Jack Kerouac – “Dear … Read More

Sappho continues – (Hymn to Aphrodite – Ed Sanders)

[Ed Sanders performs Sappho”  (accompanied by Steven Taylor) from a 1990 release “Songs in Ancient Greek“] AG: So to begin with now, beginning with Ed Sanders again.. but a different recording by Ed Sanders than the one I found last night. I mentioned that he was working with the five-finger electronic pulse-lyre (to substitute for the four-stringed tortoise-shell lyre). Mixolydian mode – I don’t know if he’s actually using a Mixolydian Mode – This [that I’m about to play] is a performance by Ed Sanders of the “Hymn to Aphrodite” with his pulse-lyre – December 1978, I think, … Read More

Marianne Faithfull

 [Marianne Faithfull performing at Sin-é,  1992 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – courtesy the Allen Ginsberg Collection of Photographs at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, Canada]  

Sinead O’Connor performing at Sine, on The Allen Ginsberg Project yesterday. We thought we’d follow that up with Allen’s image of Marianne Faithfull performing at that same East Village New York City club.  We’ve featured Marianne before here (in connection with Gregory Corso) and also here 

A little bit of candid conversation

Marianne Faithfull: Allen Ginsberg tried teaching me how to give a blow jobRead More

Ginsberg at UMass, Lowell – part 1 (Burroughs and Kerouac)



Allen Ginsberg at the UMass (Lowell)

Courtesy the video archives of the Jack and Stella Kerouac Center For Public Humanities (scroll down), Allen Ginsberg speaking on and reading from William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Philip Whalen, Nanao Sakaki, Robert Creeley, Gregory Corso, and John Wieners, recorded at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, 1991 Following a broef introduction by Bill Roberts, the head of the English department (who notes Robert Creeley is in the house) and Hamid Shirvani, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Allen begins speaking AG: Actually, my understanding is that this … Read More