Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's Weekly Round-Up 10



Beat Photos in London

For those of you in London (it was “for those of you in Paris..” last
weekend!), Angelheaded Hipsters, the exhibition of Allen’s photographs at the National Theater, Southbank, is now up and running, and will remain up until mid-March. Don’t miss it! Beat Memories, Allen’s groundbreaking show at the National Gallery in Washington DC, we’ve already extensively noted here ( and here - and here!). The BBC News site has a slide-show up of some of the photos. Corbis, co-sponsors of the show have also just posted some of the images here

In connection with the show there will be a few events of definite interest in the upcoming weeks, including one on February 19, entitled Angelheaded Hipsters: Discovering the Beat Movement, featuring Allen's first biographer Barry Miles, writer & journalist John Harris Dunning, poet Michael Horowitz and musician Paul Higgs.

Also in London (note: link here is to a PDF file) Maggs Bros Rare Books have a couple of interesting items –
William Burroughs photos of London, and William Burroughs Shoots Boys/Miles Shoots Burroughs, both taken from his time there in the early ‘70’s, two sequences of hand-made prints, produced a few years ago, taken from the original negatives, and currently being offered for sale (the link take you to a short but descriptive scratch catalog) [2012 update - needless to say, this link is now dead, but we draw your attention to Maggs Bros Burroughs materials, notably this catalog of Gysin-Burroughs here]


Ken Kesey at Sundance



Alex Gibney’s documentary,
Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search For A Kool Place, premiers this weekend at Sundance, and will hopefully soon be on wider release. A long time in the making, Jay Meehan, writing in the Utah Park Record [link no longer available], gives some of the background:
“..First, with Kesey having passed away in 2001, there were the negotiations with the estate for access and rights to his archives... then, once the footage and audio recordings and photographs made by Kesey and the Pranksters on their iconic LSD-fueled "trip" had been unearthed, there was the time it took the UCLA Film Archives to restore the 40-some-year old print, followed by an editing process that had to work around Gibney's availability, which, at best, due to his other film projects, was rare..”
Variety gives an early review of the film here


Howl Theatre And Amram





Meanwhile in Austin, Texas – Boulder’s award-winning Square Product Theatre presents “the world premiere of
a new theatrical adaptation of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl” (adapted and performed by Teresa Harrison) as part of the 2011 Frontera Fest, taking place at Austin’s Blue Theater

while in New York City, down at the Bowery Poetry Club, long-time Beat collaborator and our friend David Amram will be celebrating this weekend “his Lower East Side roots and his 80th birthday”


Renaldo and Clara on DVD

Our “Streaming Video” links
here (hush, hush, it's still up!) for a little taste – but, the exciting news, Bob Dylan’s legendary 1978 movie Renaldo and Clara (featuring Allen and the whole Rolling Thunder touring party), is about to be released, finally, as a DVD! [2012 update -alas! - jumping the gun - still no official plans for the release of the Renaldo and Clara DVD]

And more Dylan news (tho’ we’d hand you over to the incomparable Expecting Rain site for anything in this arena), Dylan, it’s understood, has just signed a six-book deal with New York publishers Simon & Schuster (including two sequels to his already justly-praised 2004 book, Chronicles).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Three From You Tube


There’s plenty of Allen on You Tube and much of it can be found in our listings of Streaming Video and Audio, but here’s three that haven’t quite made it to that list yet, and, certainly, each one worthy of a viewing and/or a listen. So, in no particular order..

Supersonic Blues

Supersonic Blues is an hommage/elegy put together by John Heartfield for Farepoesia Editions in Pavia, Italy, featuring, among other things, interesting footage of Allen and Peter and Peter’s brother Julius, from Robert Frank’s classic Me And My Brother.

Wichita Vortex Sutra

The Philip Glass-Allen Ginsberg collaboration on the CD Hydrogen Jukebox contains this exquisite setting of Allen’s classic 1966 poem with his sensitive narration. A live recording, however (from a performance in Modena, Italy, in 1992), is also available and may be listened to here

(The libretto for the piece (a brief excerpt from the longer poem) may be read here and a series of brief commentaries on the poem (including Allen’s note from Composed On The Tongue) are available here

from LSD (A Documentary Report)

Now here’s an odd piece (but posted in the light of recent interest in the Peter Conners’ dual biography), Allen, in 1966, on a rare out-of-print vinyl record, chanting and speaking/participating, as part of a documentary about LSD. Allen’s open no-nonsense clarity cuts through the rather dated and certainly opinionated general nature of the program. (2012 update - sadly, this one has been pulled, hopefully, we'll be able to track it down again soon, but, the very nature of the medium - "Three From You Tube"? two years on? - it's remarkable that that (well, Robert Frank's "Me And My Brother" too) was/is the only casualty)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday's Weekly Round-Up 9



Hommage to Allen in France
For those of you who might find yourself in Paris tonight! - Patti Smith salutes Allen, at La Salle Pleyel, part of a week-long engagement. She’ll be joined, as she has been on several previous such occasions, by Lenny Kaye and Philip Glass.
Their thoughts about the project and about Allen are usefully captured in a series of promotional shorts, shot in conjunction with a 2009 performance at Les Nuits de Fourviere, the festival at Lyon. Patti’s interview can be found here, Lenny Kaye’s here and Philip's below.

Mention should also perhaps be made of their beautiful evocation of “On The Cremation of Chogyam Trungpa” (taken here from Steven Sebring’s film, Patti Smith: Dream of Life)


Carolyn Cassady
Neal Cassady: Drug Taker, Bigamist. Family Man. Lauren Cochrane’s recent article/interview with Carolyn Cassady, wherein she “explodes a few myths” (and perhaps creates a few more?) is certainly worth reading. It can be found here. Allen’s youthful self-doubt is recalled, rather unflatteringly, it has to be said, by the 87-year-old Cassady:
"Why this sudden interest in Ginsberg?.. I met him when he was 20. He had never got over feeling he was worthless. He'd go out and try to find a job, and he'd come back and he'd say, 'I'm never gonna amount to anything. I just can't do anything. Even my finger's the wrong size”. He'd tried some assembly line or something."
With a sigh, she says she remembers him as a "poor dear".
Another recent interview with Carolyn Cassady can be found here
“As she’s telling me about a froideur that grew up between her and Ginsberg she breaks into a typical anecdote...”
Cassady has of course spoken previously of her “difficulties” with Allen. Interviewed here by the website American Legends (on Neal and Allen), and, more extensively, by Victoria Mixon
and yet another Cassady interview can be found here

Allen in Czechoslovakia
Our good friend Josef Rauvolf has passed onto us this link to a recording of Allen performing in April 1990 in Czechoslovakia with the legendary rock band Pulnoc (Midnight), one of the later manifestations of the jailed and persecuted Plastic People of the Universe. (Joseph Yanosik’s account of both the band and its centrality to Czech cultural history is essential reading and can be found here):
“Pulnoc recorded and released their self-titled debut album in Czechoslovakia in 1990. On June 15 1990 when the original Velvet Underground reunited for the first time in Paris for the opening of an Andy Warhol exhibition for the Cartier Foundation, Pulnoc opened for them. The band recorded and released a second album, “City of Hysteria” (featuring liner notes by Vaclav Havel and a new song by Egon Bondy), in the United States in 1991. A year later, Milan Hlavsa (the band’s founding member) published a book in Czechoslovakia telling the story of the Plastics entitled “Bez Ohnu Je Underground”, which coincided with the release of a multi-album box-set of the complete recordings of the Plastic People..”
Josef Rauvolf provides the more immediate context:
The Czech band Půlnoc (Midnight) recently released a live recording of their song "Magické noci" (Magical Nights) with Allen and Anne Waldman singing and chanting (Allen improvises an early version of “Birdbrain”, he and Anne swap chants). The gig took place in České Budějovice (in the South Bohemian region) when the gang went to see the Temelín nuclear plant. Download it here or buy the complete CD here.

Parody

And to end on a bizarre note - Howl parodies, we're always tickled by them here.
See Ken Goldberg and Tiffany Shlain's Yelp, even Oyl Miller's tongue-in-cheek Tweet - now this from rabidly homophobic anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbara (founder of the sorely mis-titled Americans For Truth).
It’s a satire but we confess for a while there there we were fooled!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At Apollinaire's Grave



No, it's not James Franco and Aaron Tveit, it's not, clearly, Allen and Peter, it's Peter Bulcock as The Poet (taking Allen's place) and Aden Cardy-Brown as Guillaume Apollinaire (taking Peter's place) in this hommage to Harold Chapman's iconic photograph, "taken in the same place, on the same (Parisian) bench", last year, during a gap in the filming of Nic Saunders' upcoming short feature, At Apollinaire's Grave ("based on the poetry of Allen Ginsberg"). Saunders' 14167 Productions have already been responsible for an award-winning short, Curses and Sermons, based on a poem by fellow-Beat, Michael McClure. At Apollinaire's Grave continues the series. A trailer for the for McClure one is here, the Ginsberg one, here .
And here is the poster:


Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday of Death (Gregory Corso)


[Gregory Corso, Tangier, July 1961. Photo: Allen Ginsberg. c Allen Ginsberg Estate]




Gregory Corso died ten years ago today, three months shy of his 71st birthday. We salute him today via this little survey.

Video and Film Footage of Gregory Nunzio Corso.

There is the ragamuffin in Pull My Daisy , and the angelic kid captured in 1965 in London’s cavernous Albert Hall, reading his long poem, “The Mutation of The Spirit” (see the collection
Elegaic Feelings American).

There is the wonderfully roué old Gregory as memorably evoked in his 1993 collaboration with musician Nicholas Tremulis, “For Homer”.

There is a middle-period Gregory, giving wild crazy workshops in the early days of NAROPA, from “Fried Shoes Cooked Diamonds”, (a suitably zany Gregory title) - note, in the first clip, here, the doting Fernanda Pivano - the second clip is a 1978 outdoor reading of his classic, “Bomb”, on the occasion of the protests at Rocky Flats, Colorado, the same protest that occasioned Allen’s own “Plutonian Ode”.

Fernanda Pivano is featured briefly, (speaking in Italian), eulogizing Gregory, in Luca Facchini’s 2001 “Fernanda Pivano: A Farewell to Beat” - Valerio Mastandrea follows, reading Gregory’s poem,”Matrimonio” ("Marriage"). An audio of Gregory himself reading the poem (in English) can be found here - and a spirited reading of it by rock star Ian Dury here. “Bomb” and “Marriage”, two of Gregory’s enduring classics.

Extraordinary footage of the great poet Amelia Rosselli (1930-1996) reading alongside Gregory, reading Italian translations of some of his shorter poems can be found here and here.

Gregory in Rome has been charmingly dogged by Dario Bellini in his Gregory Corso Walks And Talks in Roma in two parts - here and here.

The unfettered Gregory may be also viewed in Francois Bernardi’s Original Beats, (mentioned previously, in the context of Herbert Huncke).

Anecdotes of Gregory, there are many. Mary Beach and Andy Clausen tell stories. Mark Erikson cleverly illustrates some of Gregory’s bon mots in Conversation with Gregory Corso - Skulls For Vienna .

And finally there’s Gustave Reininger’s The Last Beat, a full-length documentary on Gregory (made in his lifetime and with the cooperation of the poet), here’s the trailer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friday's Weekly Round-Up 8


[hart+crane.jpg]


“Anti-Normative”? - James Franco, Allen Ginsberg, Harvey Milk and Hart Crane


Well is he or isn’t he? – and does it really matter?. James Franco continues to make news, speculating on his own sexual identity

“It’s funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white,”..“It’s all cut-and-dry identity politics. ‘Is he straight or is he gay?’ Or, ‘This is your third gay movie — come out already!’ And all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality..There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys,..And there are also lots of other aspects about these characters that I’m interested in, in addition to their sexuality. So, in some ways it’s coincidental, in other ways it’s not. I mean, I’ve played a gay man who’s living in the ’60s and ’70s (Harvey Milk), a gay man who we depicted in the ‘50s (Allen Ginsberg), and one living in the ‘20s (Hart Crane). And those were all periods when to be gay, at least being gay in public, was much more difficult. Part of what I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay!”

The full article may be found in this week’s Entertainment Weekly

What occasioned this new “buzz” has been the wrap-up of Franco’s most recent “poetry-bio-pic”, The Broken Tower, his examination of another great poet-hero (and, significantly, queer poet-hero), poete maudit, Hart Crane. Paul Mariani’s 1999 biography of the poet. described by Publishers Weekly as “the first account of Crane to embrace his homosexuality and to assess its place in his poetry”, was read by Franco, “shortly after it was published”, according to one account, and became the basis of his screenplay. The title is taken from what was, allegedly, Crane’s final poem, composed in 1932, shortly before committing suicide and, supposedly, inspired by his one and only failed heterosexual affair, with Peggy, estranged wife of editor, Malcolm, Cowley . The text of the poem may be read here

Glimpses of Allen in India

Here’s another Allen-through-the-eyes-of-children (or maybe it’s Allen-as -“enthusiastic cook”?), two themes we’ve been pursuing of late. From the current issue of Tehelka Magazine. Srimati Lal recalling P(urashottama) Lal, her father, who died this past November, and who, in a long and distinguished career, “revolutionized Indian publishing” with the (Calcutta-based) Writers Workshop:

Aside from the Indo-Anglians, the salons in my father’s library every Sunday would include guests like Pearl S Buck, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Isherwood, Gunter Grass, Dr Karan Singh, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, FN Souza and many others who made their pilgrimage to WW’s remarkable haven. I remember returning home one afternoon from school to see a genial, bearded tall white man cooking machher jhol (fish curry) merrily in our kitchen. “This is the Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg,” Baba quietly informed me. On another evening, Pearl Buck, seated gracefully on the terrace of our home, read from her work over Bengali chai and pakoras…

Glimpses of Allen in Ireland

Documentation from Allen's October 1993 visit to Ireland is provided by 3 a.m. magazine, who track down a postcard to Istvan Eorsi wherein Allen delights in his recent purchase of a "great grey tweed suit" - "thorn-proof" Donegal tweed! - 3 a.m, also presents a scan of a press-clipping from the local paper providing further background.


Glimpses of the Beats in Chicago

Good time to be interested in the Beats right now, if you’re living in Chicago. Tonight (through till February 5th) is the opening night of a revival of Marilyn Campbell’s adaptation of “The Beats”, a play directed by Ann Filmer
Elsewhere in town at Thinkart features photos by Allen and works on paper and shotgun paintings by William Burroughs

San Francisco/ Remembering the “Be-In”

Another of our treasures of Streaming Video (look across on the right-hand side for more) - Jan 14 marks the anniversary, 44 years on, of the first “Human Be-In” – take yourself back to San Francisco, if only for a few fleeting "Technicolor" moments. Footage from the original “Be-in” seen below:






Gleanings From The Blogs


[Shig Murao, Cafe Trieste, San Francisco, June 1988. Photo: Allen Ginsberg. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Poet Ron Silliman over on his blog has been running a contest and offering free copies of the Howl DVD to the first three that get the answer right. Too late now, the answers are in, but readers of The Allen Ginsberg Project shouldn’t have had much difficulty. Shig Murao, the answer, the “forgotten” hero of the Howl trial, we reported on, you may recall, in October of last year. Tuesday’s Silliman posting posed the question, today’s (Wednesday) provides the answer.

While we’re on recent postings and old postings, humorist Tyler Stoddart Smith’s amusing (and occasionally disturbing!) memoir, “The Karma Bum”, has just been re-posted (on The Morning News) and is worth a chuckle, if you hadn’t come across it the first time (it was initially published in an earlier version, in 2006, under the title “A Beat In The House”). Another in an apparent series! Allen-entertaining-the-kiddies!, (see recent posting regarding his poem/inscription for 7-year-old, Ingrid Law). Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog, gives a quick digest of the Stoddard Smith piece here .

Another recent re-posting (and a slightly more adult recollection of an all-too-human A.G.) is Alice Ostriker’s “Elegy For Allen” (originally published in her 2005 collection, “No Heaven”) – “The greatest Jewish poet after Celan and Amichai”, she writes – We’re returning again to the Jewish Daily Forward (the elegy is the second of three poems by her) and its blog the archly-named Arty-Semite. Rodger Kamentz and his provocative poem/essay on Pound and Allen was recently featured in the very same spot.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Herbert Huncke



Remembering Huncke

Herbert E Huncke, “the original Beat”, “Elmer Hassel” of On The Road, who died August 1996 (despite a life of excess, he lived to the ripe old age of 81) would have been 96 today. Sadly, Ben Schafer’s 1997 compendium The Herbert Huncke Reader is out of print (tho’ second-hand copies are still available and well worth tracking down). More immediately available are a series of recordings he made towards the end of his life, reading some of his deceptively simple first-person prose recollections, From Dream to Dream (available in its entirety on Ubuweb). Among the pieces featured there are the title piece for an earlier collection, “The Evening Sun Turned Crimson”, the typically gentle, compassionate “Elsie”, and “New Orleans 1938” (a piece that can be heard in 1997, given a spirited reading by his friend Edgar Oliver). That, and, even more poignantly right now, Janine Pommy Vega reading his review of the autobiography of the legendary hobo, BoxCar Bertha (the only review Huncke ever wrote) come courtesy of our friend Laki Vazakas, who’s own full-length documentary Huncke and Louis, a distillation of many hours of footage is another gem definitely worth seeking out. Huncke was the great impromptu story-teller, as can be seen in Laki’s short video from 1994 of him holding forth at Café Nico in Manhattan’s East Village. Similarly Manhattan-local is the footage of him (and another Beat legend, Gregory Corso) shot by Francois Bernardi for his film Original Beats and featuring footage of Huncke in his room at the Chelsea Hotel. A further section from that film (Huncke discoursing) is available here. He can also be seen, some years earlier, 1983, on the Woodstock Public Access program, The Velvet Trigger, reading “Song of Self “ (the text is here), and, sitting with Allen and recalling Jack in “Whatever Happened to Kerouac” (see our link in our “streaming videos”). There’s also an interesting interview with Johnny Strike, conducted in 1982, on Reality Studio

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 7


Beat Hagiography


Hagiography – lives of the saints – Bill Morris’ provocative and challenging essay, published just before the New Year, has had a lot of us (including us here at The Allen Ginsberg Project) thinking. Creativity and biography, creation and mythography, what exactly is the relationship? Joe Woodward, an ex-student of Allen’s, writing in The Huffington Post, has an interesting take, remembering Allen’s “student potlucks” - (and for those further interested in Allen’s culinary and entertaining skills, we suggest you click here!)

“Ginsberg”, Woodward writes,” beyond the fireworks of his crazed life, was actually a driven, even ambitious, writer. This drive…allowed him to sidestep oblivion; his devotion to his art-making was his ladder over the crevice.” “I've haven't viewed writers, or writing, or art-making”, he declares, “the same since.”

Allen in Vancouver



[Jerry Heiserman (later Sufi "Hassan"), the late "Red" a poet, Allen Ginsberg, Bobbie Louise Hawkins Creeley, Warren Tallman, Robert Creeley above Charles Olson, left to right top rows; seated left Thomas Jackrell then student poet, Philip Whalen & Don Allen anthologist & Postmodern Poetics editor, last days of Vancouver Poetry Conference late July 1963, car parked in front of host professor Tallman's house -- he'd sent me a ticket to come back from a year and half in India for the assembly -- which included Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov. (c. Allen Ginsberg Estate)]

Memories of Allen continue to be evoked by the film release (and now the DVD/BlueRay release) of Howl. Canadian poets, George Bowering and Stan Persky are quoted in Tom Hawthorn’s article, "Remembering Ginsberg and the Summer of Poetry," (that summer being 1963, date of the famous Vancouver Poetry Festival, organized by Warren Tallman –digitalized recordings by Fred Wah from that Conference are available online at the Slought Foundation)


Some Recent Reviews


Paul Buhle’s review of the recently-expanded City Lights edition of Kaddish, in Zeek, A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture is worth catching. And, speaking of Ginsberg City Lights reviews, Peter Conners’ dual Ginsberg-Leary biography continues to get good reviews, here’s another one that comes via Popmatters.
And here’s one on the new Howl DVD:

Howl has quite an excellent collection of extras. A making-of featurette titled, "Holy! Holy! Holy! The Making of Howl," is a full 40 minutes, but also viewable as individual shorts. The topics range from Ginsberg and his story to cinematography and locations to set design, production & costume design to the animation used in the film and its dual directors. Using interviews with cast, crew, and Ginsberg collaborators, it provides an in-depth overview of the movie and its many facets. It's also a nice departure from the typical, fluffy promotional piece.

Ginsberg Figurine


People have been asking where's the least expensive place to buy the Archer Prewitt designed Ginsberg figurine. We've seen it for as high as $60 (ouch!) So far it looks like Movie Replica Direct has the best deal at $39.95, but they're backordered.



Mind Breaths


We'll leave you with this beautiful recording of Allen's 1977 reading of "Mind Breaths" at the 92nd St Y. (the entire evening is also available, and listed in our links under 'streaming audio')



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday John Wieners



["John Wieners, tragic American poet, visiting my room Park Plaza Hotel, Boston February 1, 1985. We'd met three decades earlier at Cedar Bar, New York -- Robert Creeley & Frank O'Hara both admired his gift then, Hotel Wentley Poems were published that decade -- but none of his books were in print at time of this visit." (Allen Ginsberg Caption.) c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]


[John Wieners at the Odessa Restaurant, New York City, November 1993. Photo: c. Allen Ginsberg]

Happy Birthday, John Wieners

The first of our 2011 birthday shout-outs goes out to the ever-present, graceful spirit of "pure poet”,”pure genius”, John Wieners, who, today, would have been 77 (the laudatory terms are Allen’s, from his introduction to the Black Sparrow edition of the first volume of Selected Poems 1958-1984. (Robert Creeley’s introduction to a second Black Sparrow volume also available on line is worth checking). Among other treasures on-line are recordings of Wieners reading (a legendary 1965 University of Buffalo reading, and, of course, the incomparable PennSounds page) - there’s also video up on TheEastVillage.com.

We couldn’t not mention, while celebrating John and Allen, Raymond Foye’s fondly-recalled account of John’s 1988 visit with Allen on the occasion of his participation in the “Literary History of the Beat Generation” series at Brooklyn College. A similarly poignant account of the interaction between the two poets, on another occasion, was recently provided by Eliot Kreiger on his blog. For an intelligent profile/over-view of the great poet shortly before his death in 2002, Pamela Petro’s piece for the Boston College magazine, “The Hipster of Joy Street”, is certainly worth a read if you’ve not seen it. Catherine Salmons in the Boston Phoenix a few years earlier might also serve as a reminder of the respect he had accrued.

The achievement lives on (two recently posthumous books have been published in the last few years by Lowell, Mass’s Bootstrap Press, “A Book of Prophecies” and “A New Book From Rome”
- and here’s his circa 1976 Statement for Who’s Who?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Janine Pommy Vega: Woodstock Times Obituary



We'd mentioned the Woodstock Times obituary in our last posting, but on second thought, consider it worthy of a full post mention, since it goes into such precise detail about her life & life's work. It also includes a small selection of tributes worth more than a second glance.

The Bard Owl takes wing
Janine Pommy Vega dies; her mighty voice soars on
Janine Pommy Vega, 68 — poet, political activist, Beat legend, world traveler, hiker and lover of the Catskills, teacher of aspiring writers in schools and prisons, and so much, much more — died on December 23 at her mountain home in Willow, in the arms of her lover and longtime companion, Andy Clausen. Over the past few years she had suffered greatly from rheumatoid arthritis (which she wryly termed the “Mean Ol’ Badger”), heart and liver trouble, and a medley of other illnesses, but she never let them stay her from teaching, writing, performing, or any of her other appointed rounds, answering their insults and humiliations with a courage that those who knew her deemed extraordinary.

Read more: Woodstock Times: The Bard Owl takes wing - Janine Pommy Vega dies; her mighty voice soars on

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year Catching Up

Things got a little crazy over the holidays and among many other things we forgot to mention Patti Smith's 64th birthday on December 30th, same day as Paul Bowles! Happy Birthday Patti! The New York Times have also given Janine Pommy Vega a decent obituary - that appeared in yesterday's edition - we're happy they deem her important enough to report on! The Woodstock Times however has a much better, more thorough, one. Certainly the big news on the Ginsberg front is the US January 4th (that's tomorrow!) release of the HOWL Blu-Ray/DVD release, with heaps of extras including interviews with Peter Orlovksy, Tuli Kupferberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Steven Taylor, as well as discussions between directors Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman and cast including James Franco, Treat Williams, Bob Balaban and Jon Hamm. To order copies, click the image below. It should also be widely available in video shops around the US.

We should also mention that HOWL has received the NBR's (National Board of Review) Freedom of Expression Award, alongside films Fair Game and Conviction. Huge congrats to everyone who worked so hard to make this film a reality!