Last amended - July 18, 2013
I've had a little
contact with Diane di Prima (pictured here with Allen Ginsberg)
over the years, a few letters and emails. I knew she was suffering with
poor health, as was her longtime partner Sheppard Powell. I didn't know
the extent of her poor health until today. A stalwart of Post War
American poetry, she has achieved much. To read a little more about her
situation read here. Wishing her all the goodwill in the world.
Hot on the heels of that other film, Kill Your Darlings is now
starting to be shown at festivals. Ostensibly based around the Lucien
Carr, David Kammerer murder - the film features many of the New York
wing of America's Beat Generation. Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen
Ginsberg. As seems to be par, the review is mixed. Sometimes I do wonder
if a film would pass muster even if it were an Orson Welles and John
Huston directed film with Spielbeg and Scorcese as executive producers?
It might just stand a chance then. Or is it just me? Thanks to Richard
for sending me the news.
twenty five minute film of David Amram and longtime Lowell friend of
Jack Kerouac - Billy Koumantzelis - talking about Kerouac. Filmed in
Lowell in very recent times. They talk about Pull My Daisy among other
things. Go here to see it.
Scene deputy editor Jim Burns has drawn my attention to the death of
American poet Jack Gilbert. Gilbert died in November 2012. He was 87 and
was for a time linked for the Beat Generation, Jack Spicer. A traveller,
he spent periods in France, in Greece, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Italy
and elsewhere. In the last stages of his life he lived in Massachusetts
and California (Berkeley). See here for full obituary.
In the wake
of the On the Road film and a vague feeling of disappointment, it would
seem at least in Europe, comes a first film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's
'breakup' novel BIG SUR. How this smaller budget film will fare is
anyone's guess. The hype won't be as much, the publicity a lot more
sporadic, the anticipation more muted. It is a bleak novel, even more so
as we have discovered so much more about Kerouac's later years over the
past decade or two - the trailer looks suitably downbeat. Will it even
make cinema screens in Europe, unlikely it would seem?
issues back in Beat Scene we included a big feature on Jack Kerouac
and his longstanding agent Sterling Lord, highlighting the
relationship between them and the role Lord played in Kerouac's writing
life. Lord has published a book about his life as an editor and the
American magazine Vanity Fair (an unlikely place) has conducted a little
interview with 92 year old Lord, where he talks about Jack. See it
Many of you will have seen the Walter Salles film
adaptation of Kerouac's On the Road and you'll have seen a phase
of the film where Alice Braga plays a character that Jack Kerouac called
'Terry' in his book. That woman, if you didn't know already, was/is a
real person, she was/is called Bea Franco. Kerouac's essay 'The
Mexican Girl' preceded the publication of On the Road and was issued
in a major American journal. It gave encouragement to Kerouac that his
book was finally going to be published. Tim Hernandez, a young writer
spent much time finding out if 'Terry' was still alive, in the hope of
writing her story. Eventually he found her, aged 86 and living not that
far from where he did. He discovered that Bea Franco wrote a number of
letters to Jack after they parted. They are now in his archives at the
NY Library. Tim's book will be published later next year. He has a site
where he posts regular entries on his progress with the book. You can
find it here. It sometimes reads like a detective novel and I'm glad he
found Terry and I look forward to the book. You can find the blog at
Just in - ROBERT DUNCAN: THE AMBASSADOR FROM VENUS by Lisa Jarnot
- a big new biography of this acclaimed West Coast poet. Years in the
writing - the subtitle stems from a comment made by a young Charles
Olson on first meeting Duncan. Published by the University of California
Press (ISBN 978-0-520-23416-1) the book includes some rarely seen photos
of Duncan throughout his life. There will be an extended article on
Duncan in Beat Scene 70. See
of Dick McBride from the English daily newspaper in the last week.
recall WHAT HAPPENED TO KEROUAC? a documentary film from the
1980s. Much of the footage was captured at the 1982 Jack Kerouac event
at Naropa in Colorado. It was released on video in 1986 and remained a
valuable source. With most of our video players consigned to the loft a
new compact disc version has been made available. The big bonus is a
second disc which has those such as Robert Creeley, Ann Charters,
Gregory Corso, Burroughs, Snyder et al all discussing Jack Kerouac. I
understand the original film is downloadable on iTunes. The two disc set
can be bought over the counter. I'm loathe to give them space, but it is
available here too.
CUT-UPS, CUT-INS, CUT-OUTS: THE ART OF WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS...a
polished hardcover book published to coincide with an exhibit of artwork
by Burroughs. Held in Germany, always a stronghold for Burroughs, he is
really appreciated there. High quality reproductions of his art
throughout. The book can be ordered by going to
- the book is £24.
how long Third Mind Books have been operating but they seem to be
well progressed and establishing themselves as purveyors of Beat Books,
the obscure, the forgotten, the rare, the expensive and desirable.
They've just produced a beautiful catalogue of new items for sale. A
glossy, full colour paperback production with a page devoted to each
book with high quality photo illustration of each and every one.
Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Creeley, Dorn,
Corso, di Prima, Duncan, Olson et al. They seem to focus entirely on the
Beats and I applaud them for that. The catalogue must have cost a small
fortune to publish. Find out more at
those of you who are waiting for the Malcolm McNeill book that
includes his artwork originally designed to accompany AH POOK by
William Burroughs, here is a sample of the work presented in a neat way
on Flickr. Apparently Fantagraphics are definitely publishing the work
in late October. It promises to be quite a publication for Burroughs
weiss (she likes her name in lower case) has a new book just out.
A PARALLEL PLANET OF PEOPLE AND PLACES: STORIES AND POEMS. It is a
dual language edition, English/German. The English section is reproduced
just as ruth typed it, which looks really neat. A well put together
paperback issued in Innsbruck by Edition Baes. Contact Elias Schneitter
Bardelli has a book about Neal Cassady just out. It is for you Italian
readers out there, you multilinguals maybe. Here's a link to the book
and some neat movie footage of Neal and other things.
A very old
interview with Tom Waits has resurfaced in the English daily THE
GUARDIAN today. He talks about Kerouac and poetry. Go here to read it.
the 1970s, when William Burroughs was living long term in London,
England, he connected with a young English artist Malcolm McNeill.
Burroughs had seen a comic strip in the English underground magazine
Cyclops which brought to life some Burroughs creations. Burroughs asked
McNeill to help him illustrate his AH PUCH (later Ah Pook) and the two
worked together on and off for a few years. Their efforts to get this
project published met many obstacles and it was finally abandoned. Now
Malcolm McNeill's extraordinary artwork is to be finally published by
Fantagraphics Press. It will be a treat for fans of William Burroughs
and for those students of the writer who may know something of this
story. McNeill's art has been on exhibition and the book is sure to be
beautifully presented and will include Malcolm McNeill's memories of the
time he spent working with Burroughs. Here's a link to details of the
book. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in Burroughs.
Coast arm of Beat Scene magazine Richard Miller alerted me to this four
part interview with long time secretary to Allen Ginsberg, Bob Rosenthal
in the New York Times recently. It really is a wonderful insight into
the behind the scenes world of Ginsberg and I really hope Rosenthal gets
to publish the full book in the future. Excellent stuff.
It appears that the documentary fim, Love
Always, Carolyn, will be released on DVD in July. At present it
seems it will be available in a Swedish cover design for the moment,
with subtitles. A link here to the film site. You might have better luck
than me in getting a reply from the. Having written, phoned & emailed
I've yet to get a reply after a year of trying.
Author Jean Francois Duval in Paris recently
with the car from the new Walter Salles movie of Jack Kerouac's novel ON
THE ROAD. KEROUAC ET LA BEAT GENERATION is Jean's new book from
Heathcote Williams has three publications
out from Cold Turkey Press right now. AMERICAN PORN is one, POETRY is
another, and WAS MOBY DICK BEHIND 9/11? is a third. Limited editions.
Contact Cold Turkey Press at
Robert Duncan in San Francisco is a
forthcoming reissue from City Lights Press in San Francisco. Here's
what their press department have to say about it.
"A newly expanded edition of an enduring
classic, Robert Duncan in San Francisco is both a portrait of
the premier poet of the SF Renaissance and a fascinating account of
gay life in late 1950s America. Following his graduation from Black
Mountain College, Michael Rumaker made his way to the post-Howl,
pre-Stonewall gay literary milieu of San Francisco, where he entered
the circle of Robert Duncan. His account of that time gives an
unvarnished look at Duncan's magnetic personality and occasional
failings, while delivering vivid snapshots of other significant poets
like Jack Spicer, John Wieners, and Joanne Kyger, against the backdrop
of legendary North Beach haunts like The Place, Vesuvio, and City
Lights Books. Contrasting Duncan's daringly frank homosexuality with
his own then-closeted life, Rumaker conjures up with harrowing detail
an era of police persecution of a largely clandestine gay community
struggling to survive in the otherwise "open city" of San Francisco.
First published in 1996, this expanded edition includes a selection of
previously unpublished letters between Rumaker and Duncan, and an
interview conducted for this edition, in which Rumaker provides
further reflections on the poet and the period."
The book comes out early next year.
further news on Robert Duncan, the University of California
Press will publish ROBERT DUNCAN: THE COLLECTED EARLY POEMS AND
PLAYS. Edited by Peter Quatermain. Should be available late in the
year. According to press releases it gathers together all of Duncan's
books and magazine publications up to and including Letters: Poems
1953-1956. The book includes 20 photos.
Heath Common and The Thin Man have an
album out that will strike chords with Beat Fans. Called BOHEMIA
and out on Platform 54, you might be excused for thinking they are
American, in fact they come from Yorkshire. With tracks such as
Gary Snyder's Lament, I Don't Want To Be Lenny Bruce Anymore,
Candlestick Park, snippets of Burroughs, Moondog, Cassady. ANGEL OF
NEW YORK is curious but sublime. They have the quirkiness of Tom
Russell's HOTWALKER album, that carny edge that Tom Waits has.
There are a lot of influences at work here. Other observers have
hinted at the Buena Vista Social Club. Jewish musical styles.
Whatever, it is curious, very pretty in places, and something that
will obviously repay repeated plays. Look up
There is a brief interview with Gary Snyder on the excellent
Poetry Foundation site. Go here to read it.
And a hour long + reading from Gary Snyder
back in 2009 here. He's funny and very on the ball. Skip the first five
minutes or so as they are long winded introductions.
Sad to report the very recent death of American
novelist Harry Crews, who has died at his home in Florida aged
76. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of phone conversations with
Harry whilst doing an interview with him in the 1990s. He told me he was
in bed drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels, but maybe he was just teasing
as most reports say he had given up drink by then. Contrary to his wild
image he was courteous, humble, very laid back and helpful. It kind of
threw me a little. The interview appeared in Beat Scene number 22.
THINGS THAT SWIM IN THE NIGHT. Though reading it again just now I am
reminded that Harry gently chided me for not knowing as much about his
writing as I should have. I'd only read four of five of his by then. And
he was something of a secret here in England, even then and certainly
didn't get any press coverage here. So it felt as though it was a good
thing to include him. Quietly his stock rose here. Less promoted than
Charles Bukowski, with whom he was often associated, he was a true cult
Interesting to read this review of a book I published many years ago,
The Charles Bukowski Second Coming Years. By A.D. Winans. The
review is written by Kevin Killian, who co wrote the very excellent
biography of Jack Spicer 'Poet Be Like God.' Read below. The book is
still available from me by the way....
"Have you been curious to find out how SF Beat poet A.D. Winans
came to know the Los Angeles rabblerouser Charles Bukowski? In this
book you can find out the whole in and out of their relationship, in
which they were sort of like the Hemingway and FitzGerald of a nascent
poetic movement which Winans has called, "The Second Coming
Revolution," after his own magazine, the long-gone, and sadly missed,
"Second Coming," which might be said to have started a revolution in
letting the common people speak in the language of the human tongue.
But maybe "revolution" is the wrong word. Plenty of fine photos stud
this book, some of the talented San Francisco poet Harold Norse, and
other figures around the legendary 50 year old bookstore City Lights
on Columbus Avenue (San Francisco), where "Hank," as his intimates
called Bukowski, made some of his most colorful public appearances.
But A.D. Winans got to know "Hank" in private too, and some of the
most telling stories in the book comcern the way Winans counts it up
and realizes that actually, he only met with Bukowski a handful of
times, and that he got to "know" him mostly through his letters and
through his many volumes of verse.
There is also an explanation of why Winans is bitter today, for
rightfully so he feels ignored, and plus he had a spiked drink some
time ago and was jailed by malicious SF cops who put him in a cell
with deadbeats and dangerous felons, and subjected him to a nude body
search which was humiliating. But, he survived his ordeal and has
since then written over two dozen books. Thought Bukowski is dead now,
Winans lives on to dare to dream the visions of glory dreamt by the
knights of the round table who wanted to find . . . "the HOLY GRAIL."
In the media frenzy, one would imagine, (will there
be a frenzy? Perhaps not) - that will surround the Walter Salles
ON THE ROAD movie, it might be easy to overlook other 'Beat' films that
are inching their way to completion. They may be sidelined to an extent,
Big Sur, Kill Your Darlings and others. Filming progresses on the
latter, with Daniel Radcliffe playing the role of Allen Ginsberg. Photos
I've seen so far all have the cast looking a little 'Preppy' in style.
Radcliffe doesn't seem crumpled enough, his fellow actors just a little
too fresh faced. But early days yet. Here is an image of Radcliffe as
Ginsberg from KILL YOUR DARLINGS - above.
Before us, the great unwashed, get to see it, the
media have sneak previews of the forthcoming Walter Salles film
adaptation of Jack Kerouac's ON THE ROAD. John Walsh, writing for
the daily English newspaper THE GUARDIAN, a journal generally considered
'favourable' to Kerouac, is fairly dismissive of the film, he speaks of
'a well-scrubbed heritage-industry gleam...' Oh dear. It bodes not well.
A concern if The Guardian don't like it, what hope is there when the
other right wing press and media get their boot in? But then again,
we're savvy enough to make our own minds up surely.
Jean Francois Duval is about to see his new book - KEROUAC et al BEAT
GENERATION published. In the French language at the moment, it
follows his BUKOWSKI and the BEATS a while back. Contact Jean at
email@example.com for more
information. It looks stunning and I'm looking forward to simply looking
at the images he's included.
A lovely fifteen minute film about the exhibition
in Birmingham at the university a couple of years ago about the ON THE
ROAD scroll being shown there. Organiser Prof Dick Ellis filmed talking
about Jack, the book, the context, music etc. Very well done. Take a
Above...Henry Ferrini's beautiful Kerouac
The film Keenan won
Best Short at the 2012 United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video
Festival at Rutgers University, which was held February 17-19.
Film makers Kurt Hemmer & Tom Knoff made a really neat film biography of
the career of photographer Larry Keenan Jr. Larry took iconic images of
people like Ginsberg, Snyder, Whalen, Welch, Dylan, McClure, Lamantia &
many others. Below is a more recent image Larry took of Michael McClure
and his daughter.
Beat Scene friend Lachlan Jobbins has a site
in Australia and on it he covers Beat books, amongst other things. There
is an interview with Liz Von Vogt, the younger sister of John
Clellon Holmes. She talks about her book that looks at that late
1940s, early 1950s era where Kerouac and Holmes talked into the night
and wrote early works. 681 LEXINGTON AVENUE.
Onetime Black Mountain artist John Chamberlain
has died. An obituary from the English Guardian newspaper at this link.
Thanks to film director and friend of Beat Scene,
Nic Saunders for sending in this link to possibilities surrounding the
film KILL YOUR DARLINGS - a movie in the works about the Beat era
in the 1940s in NY.
A link here to a pretty damning look at Jack
Kerouac's THE SEA IS MY BROTHER. Recently published in entirety for
the first time. Normally The Guardian is sympathetic to Kerouac's work.
Not this time.
If you are interested in either Herbert Huncke
or Gregory Corso, or both, then here's a chance to see a thirty
minute documentary film about them. Click on this link to view it.
Thanks to Eddie Woods for telling me about it.
News of an adaptation of the William Burroughs
work QUEER being put into production. Click here to find out
KEEP THIS QUIET: A MEMOIR - MY RELATIONSHIP WITH
HUNTER S. THOMPSON, MILTON KLONSKY and JAN MENSAERT by Margaret A.
Harrell is out now. For more information go to
A link here to Iain Sinclair's talk given in
Charles Olson's Gloucester in Massachusetts on October 15. This is a
four part film of approximately one hour.
Thanks to Beat Scene subscriber Carole who sent me
information about a new play based on Allen Ginsberg's long poem
KADDISH. The play had a brief run in New York recently. Go here for
more information about it.
Carole also informed me about THE POETRY DEAL: A
FILM WITH DIANE DI PRIMA. A very recent project, you can find more
Remembering Joy Walsh (1935-2011)
following article appeared in a Buffalo newspaper recently, it documents
the life of Joy Walsh who ran the magazine MOODY STREET IRREGULARS: A
JACK KEROUAC NEWSLETTER for fourteen years. Many of you will be familiar
with her. I’ve left the article as it was.
Joy Walsh, the Clarence Center-based poet who gained international
recognition as the editor and publisher of a journal dedicated to the
history and the cultural influence of Jack Kerouac and the Beat
Generation of writers, died on October 9th following a brief illness.
She was 76. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Walsh was a key
contributor to the Buffalo area literary scene as a poet, editor,
literary scholar and performer. She was an active member of the
Niagara-Erie Writers, and taught a writing workshop at
Attica Correctional Facility co-sponsored by N.E.W. in the mid-1980’s.
She joined the Earth’s Daughters Collective in the late 1970’s and
became one of the co-editors of Earth's Daughters magazine—now the
longest continuously published feminist literary magazine in North
America—through the early 1990’s. Walsh also worked for The Humanist
magazine during the time it was based in Amherst, New York.
She was best-known, however, for founding, editing, and publishing
“Moody Street Irregulars” (subtitled “A Jack Kerouac Newsletter”), a
journal dedicated to a wide range of writing about or inspired by the
Beat Generation of writers in general, and Jack Kerouac’s work in
From 1978 to 1992, she published 28 issues of the journal, which quickly
won an international reputation and readership for its essays,
commentaries, interviews and original poetry featuring such Beat
Generation luminaries as William S. Burroughs and Carolyn Cassady (wife
of Neal Cassady, the real-life model for “Dean Moriarty” in Kerouac’s
“On the Road”), as well as important scholarly contributions from
poet Tom Clark, who went on to publish a biography of Kerouac in 1995.
Michael Basinski, now Curator of The Poetry Collection at the University
at Buffalo, met Walsh in Professor Marcus Klein’s 20th Century American
Literature course in his first semester of graduate school at UB.
“She talked to me about an idea she had for a [Jack] Kerouac magazine
and was I interested, and did I wish to work on it with her,” he
recalls, “I said yes.”
Basinski went on to co-edit the first few issues of Moody Street
Irregulars with Walsh, who was also assisted by Ana Pine on several
subsequent issues. What he remembers most about working with Walsh was
her enormous enthusiasm for Kerouac and the project: “All along over
the magazine's long life it was Joy Walsh endlessly committed to
Kerouac—I think the great spirit of his writing—committed to his energy
(less interested in criticism, or so to speak, 'figuring it out') more
interested in the raw passion and energy that Kerouac could and would
and still does generate. I left after a few issues but it was always
all Joy—all energy for Jack Kerouac—a commitment, a melding in
the energy that was [Kerouac’s] writing.”
Walsh’s Textile Bridge Press also published books by several prominent
Western New York based writers and poets including Manny Fried, Marion
Perry, Boria Sax and Ryki Zuckerman.
Walsh was born Joy Ann Staley in East Liverpool, Ohio on May 3, 1935.
Her family moved to Buffalo, where she was raised in the Langfield
projects during the World War Two era and afterwards. She
married businessman Thomas J. Walsh—the owner of Bison Truck Parts on
Walden Avenue in Buffalo—in the 1960’s and moved to Clarence Center,
where the couple raised two sons.
Walsh attended SUNY-Fredonia—at first as a music major—before becoming
enthralled with literature in general and The Beats in particular. She
completed her B.A. in English and earned her Master of Arts degree in
the Humanities at UB, writing her master’s thesis on critic and literary
theorist Kenneth Burke.
She was the author four collections of her own Beat-influenced poetry,
“Locating Positions” (Backstreet Press, 1983), “Hymn to Prometheus
Transistor” (Atticus Press, 1984), “The Absent are Always in the Wrong"
(Water Row Press, 1985), and “Mary Magdalen Sings the Mass in Ordinary
Time" (Alpha Beat Press, 1989). She was also the author of a critical
study “Jack Kerouac: Statement in Brown" (Esprit critique series,
Textile Bridge Press, 1984.)
In 1983, Walsh was awarded a writer-in-residence grant from Just
Buffalo Literary Center. Owing in part to her connection to the
Beats, and to the post-Beat writing that she championed, her
poems, essays, and reviews were published in magazines and journals
throughout the United States, Canada, England, Europe, Australia, and
She is survived by her husband, sons Thomas and Christopher and their
families, including eight grandchildren.
Former colleague Basinski remembers her as “full of wild crazy energy
always,” while Ryki Zuckerman, a friend and one of her co-editors
at Earth’s Daughters magazine, recalls that in her younger days, Walsh
would arrive at her own poetry readings and writing workshops on the
back of a motorcycle.
She was quite an exceptional woman, for her own or any time. The 40th
anniversary issue of Earth’s Daughters magazine (Earth’s Daughters #80)
will be dedicated to her.
Jack Foley has written this recent article on the
new film by English filmmaker Nic Saunders.
NIC SAUNDERS’ AT APOLLINAIRE’S
Et ma vie pour tes yeux lentement
And for your eyes my life takes poison slowly.
—Guillaume Apollinaire, “Les colchiques” (“The Saffrons”)
Who weeps for the angels…or notices when
they turn aside to stiffen their upper lips?
—Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central
Station I Sat Down and Wept
There’s a story about the great French poet Guillaume Apollinaire
(1880-1918). It’s said that on the day he died he heard voices outside
his hospital window crying, “Guillaume est mort” (“William is dead”).
The voices were referring to Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had not died but
abdicated. Weak and delirious, Apollinaire—whose birth name was
Wilhelm—thought the voices referred to him.
needn’t have worried. Nic Saunders’ gorgeous new film, At
Apollinaire’s Grave, shows him alive and well in Paris—and offering
help to fledgling poets.
The Paris of the film is of course real—far realer than it is in Woody
Allen’s latest. Saunders went to some trouble to be historically
accurate. We see the exterior of the actual “Beat Hotel,” 9 Rue Gît-le-Coeur
(Here Lies The Heart Street), where Allen Ginsberg lived when he
composed the poems used in the film; as Philip Bulcock (The Poet) walks
down Rue Beautreillis, we can make out the balcony of the apartment
block where Jim Morrison died (buried, like Apollinaire, in the great
cemetery, Père Lachaise); and as Bulcock walks along the Seine, we see
the famous Parisian booksellers.
the film is far from being a documentary of the real; it is rather a
documentary of the spirit, of the process by which one achieves poethood—and
so it is full of fantasy: visual distortions, enormously effective (and
affective) music by Andy Dragazis, stunning juxtapositions, symbols.
Death is everywhere, but, as Whitman said, death is different from what
anyone thought, and luckier. Bulcock plunges himself into the world of
death—the largest cemetery in Paris—but finally discovers there the
energy of life. In an evocation of the period of the actual Beat Hotel—a
seedy monolith of the fifties and early sixties, home to Corso (who
named it), Ginsberg, Gysin, Burroughs, others—the film is shot in
glorious black and white, except for one sequence which is shot in
delicious, rich color. Summoned by a split-off version of himself, The
Poet finds himself an honored guest at a banquet presided over by
Apollinaire himself (who has been watching him throughout the film).
Other attendees—as simultaneously dead and alive as Apollinaire—include
Picasso, Gide, Cendrars, Tzara, etc. The Poet is simultaneously Allen
Ginsberg and not Allen Ginsberg (he is wearing Ginsberg’s glasses
but he has a published copy of “Howl” among his books). And he is making
contact not with the Beats but with their progenitors, the group of
“immortals” (the word is taken literally in this film) he wishes to
join. These entirely male copains (no Gertrude Stein) offer him
bread and wine, which he takes to make his “communion” complete. Yet
there is also the visionary presence of a woman (Kasia Halpin) whose
photograph we’ve seen earlier in his hotel room—a lover, a muse
figure—and she is smiling. If the figures at the banquet—particularly
Apollinaire—are his “fathers,” then she is very likely his “mother,” so
that in a certain sense his advent as a poet involves a balancing of
male and female energies—perhaps a final settling of accounts with his
parents. At the climax of the ritual—and, in a way, the entire film is a
ritual—he is handed a box containing his own living, beating heart. And
the sound of the heartbeat (all puns intended) stays with us,
transforming and replacing the earlier insistent sound of the
typewriter. If Ginsberg’s poetry is deeply Jewish (Kaddish is the
volume from which the poems quoted in this film are taken), Saunders’
film seems equally deeply Roman Catholic. After all, he is dealing with
the French—with the country of the “Sacred Heart.”
Back in black and white, The
Poet awakens and stares into a mirror; he makes the “Bogie” gesture from
Breathless—and smiles. Bulcock has become not only The Poet but
The Filmmaker! It’s as if Saunders is saying, “Hah! At last I have
become Jean-Luc Goddard!” (Though I remember Belmondo making the gesture
with his right hand: Bulcock makes it with his left.)
It’s a wonderful moment, but
At Apollinaire’s Grave is full of wonderful moments. The central
perception The Poet comes to is Ginsberg’s profound formula, “Mind is
Shapely. Art is Shapely”—though he arrives at it in a sequence in which,
amazingly, mind seems utterly chaotic. The formula is both Ginsberg’s
and Saunders’ (and Kerouac’s) credo—an all-encompassing trust of
imaginative experience no matter where it may lead. (“Don’t hide the
madness.”) Ginsberg himself wrote of Kaddish, “In the midst of
the broken consciousness of mid twentieth century suffering anguish of
separation from my own body and its natural infinity of feeling its own
self one with all self, I instinctively [sought] to reconstitute that
blissful union which I experienced so rarely.”
In a final visit (it is, very
symbolically, day 33), The Poet places a piece on paper on Apollinaire’s
grave. The words are in French (so Apollinaire can read them more
easily!) and, for us, in English: Joie toujours a suivi après la
Douleur—je ne suis plus seul (Joy has always followed after Pain—I
am no longer alone). And at the very conclusion of the film, Saunders
gives us two quotations—words which echo one another and intertwine:
Each ray of moonlight’s
ray of honey
Follow your inner moonlight
Don’t hide the madness
The first quotation is by
Guillaume Apollinaire (“G.A.”); the second is by Allen Ginsberg
At Apollinaire’s Grave
is full of imagination and life. Philip Bulcock is wonderful throughout
and his recitations of Ginsberg’s lines are beautiful. (Bulcock, who was
born in Manchester, looks American—like Tom Sawyer!) And Aden
Cardy-Brown is a wonderful presence as Apollinaire. Poetry may inspire
films in various ways. Nic Saunders has found has found a way to weave
poetry, for the most part an auditory art, into the very fabric of his
film, for the most part a visual art. It is a beautiful and highly
ritualistic combination. Art may be, as Apollinaire’s line perhaps
suggests, a slow poison, but it is a poison that engages us, as this
film clearly does, more fully in life. Nic Saunders’ films weep for the
angels—but they also, as Elizabeth Smart goes on to say, teach them how
to rumba. Je connais tout, fors que moi-même, wrote François
I know everything except for
myself. At Apollinaire’s Grave is an opening into that deep
At Apollinaire’s Grave
is the second of four projected films dealing with Beat experience. The
first was Curses and Sermons (2009), with poetry by Michael
McClure. The third, completed but not yet released, will deal with
I've had the pleasure of meeting artist Peter
Tingey a few times through Beat Generation interests and have seen just a little of his work. Based in
south London he has designed book covers, album covers and worked in
various mediums. Inspired by his local surroundings as well as his
globetrotting he always surprises yet has a particular style. A
visit to his site at www.tingey.info
Well worth your time.
There is a new documentary film about Ken Kesey
and his Merry Pranksters - MAGIC TRIP. Here is some of the promo
on the film.
"Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood’s MAGIC TRIP is a freewheeling
portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Prankster’s fabled road trip across
America in the legendary Magic Bus. In 1964, Ken Kesey, the famed author
of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” set off on a legendary,
LSD-fuelled cross-country road trip to the New York World’s Fair. He was
joined by “The Merry Band of Pranksters,” a renegade group of
counterculture truth-seekers, including Neal Cassady, the American icon
immortalized in Kerouac’s “On the Road,” and the driver and painter of
the psychedelic Magic Bus. Kesey and the Pranksters intended to make a
documentary about their trip, shooting footage on 16MM, but the film was
never finished and the footage has remained virtually unseen. With
MAGIC TRIP, Gibney and Ellwood were given unprecedented access to
this raw footage by the Kesey family. They worked with the Film
Foundation, HISTORY and the UCLA Film Archives to restore over 100 hours
of film and audiotape, and have shaped an invaluable document of this
extraordinary piece of American history."
Click link below to go to the film site.
Two outstanding volumes have recently been
published by Jack Foley. Having met Jack I know what a dynamo he
is and how dedicated he is in whatever he does. VISIONS AND
AFFILIATIONS: A CALIFORNIA LITERARY TIMELINE - POETS & POETRY 1940-1980
is the first collection. See illustration above. At close to 600 pages
and with dimensions of 11" x 8" these are substantial volumes. What Jack
Foley does is trace the literary history of California (in particular
San Francisco) between those dates. So you'll see Patchen, Jeffers,
Rexroth, Everson and others crop up early on. Of course merely listing
things wouldn't be enough, allied to that are Foleys introductions of
their work, his own takes, all cross referencing and highly informed.
Naturally the names change with the times as poets migrate to
California, the books, events, artists, films, publishers, poets all
intersect. Snyder, Whalen, Kerouac, McClure, Whalen, Lamantia, Bukowski,
Brautigan, Duncan, Welch, Kyger, di Prima and so many others. These are
literary history books, an alternative California history if you like.
Foley delves beneath the surface and reveals little known but crucial
history about the writers we all know and love. His resourcefulness is
admirable. The second volume covers 1980 to 2005 and is equally
comprehensive. Tracing the arc of writers and their lives in the highly
fertile literary atmosphere of the Bay Area is a joy with Foley, he
brings things into context and you can detect the interconnectedness of
it all. He says of the publications, "The fabric of time is the centre
of the book..." He should get a medal for going beyond the call of duty.
Here is a link to Jack Foley talking about his two books on the
legendary KPFA radio....http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/71165
Contact -- Pantograph Press, 2569 Maxwell Avenue,
Oakland, California 94601-5521, USA
LAST MAN STANDING - AL HINKLE an interview by Stephen D. Edington
will be the new Beat Scene Press chapbook, number 31 in the series. Al
Hinkle, as you will recall, was with Kerouac and Cassady (and Luanne) as
they criss-crossed America. Dummy cover above. It will be £6.95 - if you
would like to pre-order a copy click the button below.
Iain Sinclair's monumental new book GHOST MILK:
CALLING TIME ON THE GRAND PROJECT is published by Hamish Hamilton.
Sinclair is one of the best writers of our times. He is wonderfully
articulate and weaves true life stories from his vast memory banks with
his connections to today. He presents the country, but especially those
areas of London he knows like the back of his hand, in a blaring light.
He is a banned writer exposing the ravages of old London in the pursuit
of the dollar as the Olympic scam bulldozes everything in the way. His
twists and turns take him from Edgar Alan Poe to the Dave Clark Five,
Beijing to the Hebrides. Just wonderful. Follow his trail.
RADICALS, BEATS & BEBOPPERS is a big new
book of essays from Jim Burns. The Beat Scene assistant editor collects
together his many essays from over the years in this handsome edition.
Naturally there are articles on Burroughs, Kerouac, alongside others on
John Clellon Holmes, Carl Solomon, Jack Micheline, Charlie Parker and
others. Burns is a keen observer of the American scene over the decades
and he doesn't always choose the easy, well known figures but opts
sometimes for those on the outer limits of the literary and jazz
landscapes, old and newer. Maxwell Bodenheim, Anatole Broyard, William
Herrick, Jack Conroy, Buddy Wise. His range and knowledge is vast in
jazz, in American books, left wing and Socialist politics, banned
actors, film makers, Jim Burns will have an insight on them. This book
definitely gets my seal of approval. Published by The Penniless
Press (ISBN 978-1-4476-3072-2)
Those fine chaps James Birmingham (an esteemed
writer for Beat Scene) and Kyle Schlesinger have come up with a fourth
issue of their lovely MIMEO MIMEO literary
magazine. The latest progression stylistically is that they've given
this one a spine, what do they call it in the trade, 'Perfect Bound.' It
looks great. Included in this issue are Asa Benveniste, Tom Raworth, an
interview with David Meltzer, letters between Eric Mottram and Jeff
Nuttall, a Trevor Winkfield interview, Ken Edwards on UK small press
publishing since 1960, Alan Halsey and more. A whopping 90 pages of
thorough research, interviews and stuff. An innovative magazine. Contact
them at firstname.lastname@example.org
& they also have a blog at
Gary Snyder, Michael McClure and others
celebrating Snyder's first book Riprap. The event was 2009, runs
for over an hour and is nice quality and you can find it at -
Peter Conner's book WHITE HAND SOCIETY
(City Lights Press) see this fascinating interview
For years Ray's Jazz Shop in the Covent
Garden area of London used to stock my Beat Scene magazine. It did ok
there. The store was owned by longtime owner Ray Smith. I hardly ever
spoke to Ray, more often to the very pleasant Glyn Callingham and Mike
and Ski downstairs in the basement. Ray sold his business to Foyles and
they subsequently sold the store and relocated Ray's Jazz Shop to the
top floor of their bookshop in Charing Cross Road. I've just read that
Ray Smith has died. What a shame. his jazz store was a bastion of
something good in a sea of dross. See here a link to The Guardian's
Interesting insight into how the Beats, and in
particular Jack Kerouac, are taught in American universities can be seen
in this 24 minute film. Go to
RUTH WEISS MEETS HER PROMETHEUS, a film by Frederick Baker, is a
twenty minute documentary relating Ruth Weiss going home to Vienna to
where she lived as a child. Her family had to escape the German invasion
in the 1930s. Ruth has been part of the California poetry scene since
the 1950s but went home to the building in Vienna she knew as home. A
giant sized figure of Prometheus stood in the lobby of what was once a
hotel and a frightened Weiss remembered him as a child, he was still
there when she returned. A quirky but fascinating tale, where Ruth
recites poetry and has a dialogue with Prometheus. Contact Ruth Weiss at
Box 535, Albion, California 95410, USA. She doesn't do email.
is the site for the San Francisco Poetry Festival. A nice photo here of
Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Steve Earle and Lenny Kaye at last years
festival honouring Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
LOVE ALWAYS, CAROLYN is a new 70 minute
documentary film about Carolyn Cassady. For info go to
Slept Here - a film by
- is a new movie being premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival
early in April. A documentary it relates the life of Jack Kerouac in
Florida and centres on one of the houses he had there. Go to
And here is another link to stuff about
JACK KEROUAC SLEPT HERE - the film.
Scene subscribers are a talented bunch. Here is a link to Aussie David
Pepperell reading some poems about Stan Getz, Charlie Parker and Miles
Davis. See what you think. Nice one David.
He has a
big new collection out - OF INDIGO & SAFFRON, and Michael McClure
has been reading around America in support of his new book. A link here
to him reading way back.
in is a big new collection from Michael McClure. OF INDIGO AND
SAFFRON: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS. Published by The University of
that Janine Pommy Vega died on December 23. Janine had not been
in good health for some years, but did her best to carry on what she
always did. She was 68. Above you'll see Janine with from left, Andy
Clausen, Charles Plymell and Ray Bremser in 1998. Janine was a good
friend of Beat Scenes, a warm correspondent. She visited England in
recent years, the Lake District and other places. More news when I have it.
decent write up on Peter Orlovsky, go to - some unseen photos
Beat Scene friend Dan who sent in this link from his local paper about
the HOWL movie starring James Franko (and not Shig)
Kerouac, 'Gone in October.'
European Beat Studies Network has recently been set up by William
Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris and by Polina Mackay. The aim is to
foster greater awareness and understanding of the Beat Generation. It
seems a very laudable venture to me. To find out more go to
Iain Sinclair has a new collection of poems POSTCARDS FROM THE 7th
FLOOR. Published as a handsome paperback by Pighog Press, the book is a
collaboration with artist Oona Grimes.
thoughtful article on the Howl movie and James Franco in the
Allen Ginsberg role -
out very nicely. Me and M.Ring set off for the Beat Hotel photo
exhibition in London's King's Road early in the day. Saturday morning,
last day of July. A freshening morning rain shower on the way to the station.
Marylebone is such a lovely little station to arrive at. A lot of old
character. A quick & expensive taxi ride to the Proud Gallery at 161
King's Road to see Harold Chapman's photos of Ginsberg, Corso, Orlovsky,
Norse, Somerville and others who lived in this old and tatty hotel in
the Latin Quarter of Paris. A small gallery, no air conditioning in the
growing humidity but wonderful to see these pictures at this size and
close up. There wasn't a soul in the gallery, it had opened on July 29
and it runs til the end of August. It surprised me that nobody else was
in to see it. Are we all so indifferent and unmoved these days? Had hoped
to pick up a catalogue but there wasn't one, all done 'virtually' these
days. So there will be no tangible record that this exhibit ever
happened in years to come. A shame for Harold Chapman. It is a lovely
modest little gallery in a very central location. The £400 + VAT prices
for prints were out of my league I'm afraid. A few inexpensive postcard
versions might have helped for us riffraff. Guess those with deeper
pockets might go for one of these limited signed prints. There were
brilliant photos downstairs of legendary 1960s musicians like Hendrix,
Clapton, The Stones, Dylan. Taken by various photographers. All going
for a lot of money. But terrific images. They don't make musicians like
these anymore. The humidity in
the gallery got the better of us and we had to move out & along the road
to the John Sandos bookshop further along. We walked past later in the day and the gallery was still
empty. How sad is that? The Beat Hotel exhibit is well worth your time.
Just go on a cooler day. see
This below is a review of Michael McClure's latest
poetry collection Mysteriosos. Taken from The Beat Studies Association.
A neat alternative take to the Beat Scene page on the book.
Mysterioso and Other Poems by Michael McClure. NY:
New Directions, 2010.
Reviewed by Tom Pynn
Idiots, trying to get out of the threefold world!
Where will you go?
--Lin-Chi (d. 866)
Lin Chi’s comment is directed at those who ignore the
phenomenal world of experience in which enlightening practice unfolds
and instead seek illusory security and knowledge in words and phrases,
tradition, or other cultural artifacts in order to escape from the
threefold world of desire, form, and formlessness (Watson 54). For
Lin-Chi’s form of Ch’an and Buddhism generally, the phenomenal world
offers the opportunity to cease the suffering patterns, seen and unseen,
that we create for others and ourselves. It is the ultimate practice
space. In keeping with this philosophy, far from indulging the dream of
escape from our phenomenal situation, Michael McClure has sought a
deepening engagement with the body and all the world’s creatures.
Since his reading of “For the Death of 100 Whales” at
the 6 Gallery reading in 1955, McClure has maintained a committed stance
toward this threefold world. “My poetry is to make myself conscious,” he
has stated, but this doesn’t mean he views his art as a purely expressionistic act. He continues
rehearsing Shelley’s dictum that “poets are the unacknowledged
legislators of their times” and so has aligned himself “with a movement
or a thread or a stream or a surge of individuals who are interested in
liberation of the body, in the liberation of the imagination and the
liberation of consciousness” (McClure 6-7). The above imagery of ACTION
is not incidental. McClure’s recovery of embodiment, of linking mind-bodyconsciousness—
MEAT—conjoins poetry and biology:
“It’s moving in the direction of
recovering the biological self” (10).
“Our unending war against nature is the crisis from
which I write,” McClure writes in the “Author’s Introduction” to his
latest volume of poems, echoing Mallarmé’s view that poets write from a
state of crisis (ix). One aspect of this crisis from which McClure
composes is the schizophrenic divide we have created between
consciousness and body. Inherited from the Renaissance, this duality now
threatens not only our individual and collective sense of self, but also
the stability and health of all the planet’s life forms and even the
planet itself. Instead of duality, McClure’s poetry has always
emphasized interconnections between forms.
In the volume’s opening poem, McClure indicates the
complex interplay of light and dark, of good and evil, of which all
things are made:
I’M BLACK, BLACK IN MY CORE
THOUGH ONE EYE OF LIGHT
peers inside of me.
The same darkness that is in him, however, is also
“[t]he blackness inside a salmon / or a root of peyote” (5). Though the
poem ends in a frank statement that all things die, this must not be
mistaken for fatalism but should be viewed in context of an overriding
theme of the collection, that in order to begin healing the self and
world we must first admit that the darkness within us is as real as the
urge for light.
“My shoulders are decency and indecency,” McClure
observes, “interpenetrating / like wisdom and compassion.” Indeed, one
of the striking things about this collection is the overwhelming feeling
of love being expressed in a vast majority of the poems. I am even
tempted to think of Mysterioso as a volume of love poems.
If this Mysterioso can be considered love poetry,
then it’s love poetry of a Beat kind. Love is found not on the heights
of Parnassus or in some dreamlike erotic imagery or fantasy, but in the
messy realms of desire and form. For instance, in “Mangos and Plastic”
the poet contrasts his life with the great Bengali Rishi and poet
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941):
is eagles, and cars,
and plastic trash
that scatters cracked
and smiling faces.
It is love poetry that holds contraries together: “the
unimagined gleam” of a life each day filled “with smiles and tears / and
kisses” and “life eating life . . . / as we float on a sea / of
petroleum” (31, 11). It is in this light that the second section of the
book, “GRAHHRS: WAR POEMS GRAHHR POEMS,” contains work that combines
imagery of war and ecocide with wedding poems.
It is in the section titled “DEAR BEING,” “a garland of
thirty-seven poems,” that the imagery of interpenetration really stands
out. McClure explains that these poems emerge out of two main movements:
“repeating opening lines of old poems to begin new poems” and his study
of Hua-yen Buddhism. A significant school of Chinese Buddhism founded by
Fa-tsang (643-712), Hua-yen emphasizes the interconnectedness or
inter-being of all things and their dependence upon one another.
Furthermore, and this seems to be important for McClure, all things are
in harmony with each other. In the case of the disturbing images of
cluster bombs falling on grandfathers walking with their grandchildren
in Baghdad or helpless soldiers being bulldozed in trenches, it is a
difficult lesson to learn. In such a world, “Everything happens at once,
in one time: azure eyelids of the lizard blink, mynah birds fly to the
roof, and tanks blast children in concrete bunkers. (84)
While “[t]he concords of greed are being delivered in
tanks,” McClure can also write,
Dear Being, I am thrilled
to be with you while the auras and zigzags and flashes
spring from us, and into us, and through us.
Where we are there is no greater density
than the passing experience,
rippling into nowhere.
That impermanence can yield ecstasy is one of the
mysteries of this volume in particular and McClure’s work in general.
Yet, this has been characteristic of many of the artists working in
post-World War II America. Even in the dark moments of big sur,
Kerouac could write optimistically that life is safe and will yet turn
into that Golden Eternity in which all things are brought into ecstatic
light. McClure’s poetry suggests a slightly different view. Not that
everything will work out, but that we fail to see that the Golden
Eternity is here and now in “the passing experience, / rippling into
nowhere” (101). These poems are intimations of interbeing:
Most consistently the double image of form and formless,
or emptiness and form as the Heart Sutra avers, is developed in the
poems that comprise “Double Moiré.” Dedicated to Francis Crick
(1916-2004), Nobel Prize winner in medicine in 1962 for co-founding the
double helical structure of DNA, these poems alternate between visible
and invisible, double patterns that bring together McClure’s principle
interests in desire, flesh, consciousness, protein synthesis and the
liberation from all form. The intermingling of form and formless can be
read in the following sestet:
RAINBOW AGAINST WHITE—PROJECTED ON BLACK
or a moon-bow of ivory telling the time
that will come to be tangled in roots of cress
in the brook. This canny voiceless whisper
powers all galaxies as the water strider
skims on the Technicolor pool. (126)
Wonder and delight, energy and melody infuse all of the
poems in “Double Moiré.” In another poem, the speaker declares that
“[w]hen all is alive everything sings the silence” (112).
It’s easy to hear in these poems the music that is
always in the background of McClure’s writing. As in the case of
performance, he has and continues to bring out the melodic and rhythmic
qualities of his lines by collaborating with musicians such as Ray
Manzarek, Terry Riley, and Riders on the Storm, a band founded by
Manzarek and Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger. In the current case of
“Double Moiré,” if one goes to YouTube and types in “Double Moiré 3rd
Movement,” one will find McClure’s performance of these poems and the
jazz soundings of George Brook et al. – a delightful experience.
McClure, Michael. Lighting the Corners: On Art,
Nature, and the Visionary. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico
Watson, Burton. Translator. The Zen Teachings of
Master Lin-Chi. NY: Columbia University Press, 1999.
Harold Norse’s 1984 Amsterdam reading Harold Norse Of Course
is finally available on both CD and double vinyl LP.
The CD version is in a handsomely designed and very lightweight ‘digipak.’
The LP has some three dozen photos of Harold at various stages in his
long (just under 93 years) life on the inside sleeves.
Previously available on audio cassette, this new release is a joint
venture of Unrequited Records (San Francisco) and Ins & Outs Press
(Amsterdam). And is being mainly sold and distributed by Unrequited.
(Amsterdam residents can buy from Eddie Woods at
- All others, in the EU and elsewhere, should go to the website and
order there at
And on the Unrequited site, also click Listen to hear four of the 20
tracks. Or click straightaway on
West Coast poet Neeli Cherkovski is
featured in this journal, (see link below) an article where he reflects on being both a
biographer, Bukowski, Ferlinghetti and a poet. His latest work, From
the Canyon Outward (www.rlcrow.com)
is featured in Beat Scene 62.
Meltzer's collection will be the 60th in that iconic City Lights
Pocket Poets series, the little black and white paperbacks. Probably
published late 2010 or early 2011, according to a reliable source.
Peter Orlovsky died May 30 at approximately 11.30 a.m. I understand
he died in a hospice from lung cancer and complications stemming from
that. Peter was born in 1933 and was 76. For years he was the companion
of Allen Ginsberg. More when I have it. Below is a link to an obituary
written for the English daily newspaper The Independent
is a link to the USA's New York Times obituary.
Ginsberg has a photographic exhibition at the Smithsonian...see
here for a review..
Snyder and novelist Jim Harrison got together for a long hike and you
can see them in this trailer for the documentary film Practice of the
Beat Scene deputy editor Jim Burns has a new poetry collection
just out. Streetsinger is published by Shoestring Press. His
poems draw on a lifetime's experience of living in the north, the war,
jazz, art, socialist politics and history and much more. There is a
sharp realism about everything he writes.
Steps is a fascinating radio show centred around, I think, London
and the diverse history and goings on of the place. Produced in
conjunction with Resonance radio, they did an interview with
Miles in March, focusing on his new book London Calling. In
this near thirty minute interview there is recollection of Ginsberg,
Corso and Ferlinghetti in London in the mid 1960s and much talk of the
'counter culture.' As always Miles is an engaging talker. Find it at
vehemently states he is not one of the Beat Generation, he simply
published them, yet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is as Beat as they
come. He was 91 years old this week. See this silent b/w film footage of
him outside his City Lights bookstore in North Beach, San Francisco in,
I believe, the late 1950s. Mr Ferlinghetti I salute you.
There is a
short recent interview with Gary Snyder at
English journalist Stephen Maughan has an article about the latest developments
in the Kerouac Estate wrangle in Fine Books magazine. Photo of
Kerouac's nephew Paul Blake and his daughter Jan.
In an age
where used bookstores are fast becoming a distant memory, remember the
simple pleasure of just browsing through piles of old books, never
knowing what surprises might be at the bottom of that box? Well, for a
few years now, an ex longtime senior partner at the sadly missed
Compendium Bookshop in London's Camden Town has been operating
Labyrinth Bookshop in Glastonbury High Street with his partner. I've
visited this used bookstore a few times and Glastonbury, for those that
have never been, has a charm all of its own. Nice place. A used
bookstore that is fighting the corporate march. See
musician Jim Carroll has died. Go here for the New York Times
England the daily newspaper, The Guardian, has a thoughtful obituary on
material on Bukowski, featuring Neeli Cherkovski and Jack Hirschman. Go
to the City Lights bookstore site and enjoy it.
ALCHEMIST OF FLESH is a newly issued documentary about the life and
work of Michael McClure. Filmed by Londoner Colin Still, the
documentary includes rarely seen footage of McClure through the years
and some previously unpublished photos. There is scarce film footage of
Allen Ginsberg and others. Michael McClure is interviewed and reads from many
of his books. His musical collaborator Ray Manzarek is also interviewed
and the duo are filmed in rehearsal and performance. Others featured
include Peter Coyote, McClure's first wife Joanna, musician Terry Riley,
poet Joanne Kyger, Amy Evans McClure, (Michael's wife), Dennis Hopper
and others. Beautifully filmed. For more go to
There will be a new book of Elise Cowen
poems out soon. The book will be bilingual
(English/German). Most of the poems are published for the first time. It is about 220 pages
Price: 16 Euro (plus shipping costs)
contact Ralf Zuhlke at Stadtlichter Presse,
Wennerstorfer Kirchweg 65, 21279 Wenzendorf, Germany
Tel.: 0 41 65-8 11 69
for photos and reports on the fairly recent Naked Lunch at 50 events in
Barry Gifford needs no introduction from me. His connection with the
Beat Generation is largely based around the biography of Jack Kerouac he
did with Lawrence Lee way back and a little book KEROUAC'S TOWN that was
published by Creative arts a long time ago. In an extensive interview
with Noel King he talks about writing a screenplay for Francis Ford
Coppola's proposed movie of Kerouac's ON THE ROAD and much more besides.
He is one hell of a writer and seems to operate in a world where days
last for weeks.
William Burroughs film coming in August I understand.
all the Charles Bukowski readers out there.click on the link and
enjoy the read.
the buses, nothing for a long time and then three at once. If they do
finally track their way through the long and winding road that is film
production. ON THE ROAD, HOWL and Lucien Carr will all be
on our cinema screens next year. It says here. Of course Lucien Carr
featured in the low key film BEAT with Keifer Sutherland and Courtney
Love a year or two back. Not a lot of people seem to know that. Almost a
straight to DVD type film. Click below for news.
review of the new Burroughs, Kerouac book AND THE HIPPOS WERE BOILED IN
THEIR TANKS - go to the English daily newspaper The Independent at
recently covered Deborah Baker's totally absorbing A BLUE HAND: THE
BEATS IN INDIA - check here for more on that book
lowdown on a new USA film that features the art of Wallace Berman and
the Ferus Gallery - go to
Ahead of a
sizeable article about the Ted Berrigan interview with Jack Kerouac for
The Paris Review in 1968, which will feature in the number 20 issue of
Transit Magazine - I'd like to point you in the direction of an
interview with Aram Saroyan on KCRW radio dating from 1994. In this
thirty minute interview Saroyan talks about his friend Berrigan and in
particular the then new COLLECTED POEMS OF TED BERRIGAN (Penguin). A
fascinating interview and a real pleasure to listen to..
extended article on Philip Whalen at an interesting NYC literary site
Miller has a thoughtful Beat Generation hued site at
English newspaper THE GUARDIAN for this article on Gary Snyder
look at this article from the New York Times of the past week.
past couple of months David Meltzer suffered a serious fall
and was in hospital. I hear he is recovering. Knowledgeable observers of the beat scene will know
David's work through the years. We wish David well and a speedy
recovery. Go to
http://www.meltzerville.com/ to find out more about him.
on a very new film NEAL CASSADY, directed by Noah Buschel, go to
Have a read here and see a thoughtful review in the English daily
newspaper THE GUARDIAN by AM. Homes of the new UK paperback edition of
Jack Kerouac's recently published play BEAT GENERATION. I'm relieved
Homes hasn't fallen for the myth of the 'lost play.' The reality is Jack
Kerouac dearly wanted the play to be produced and also published. Nobody
was interested and he put it away, deflated by the rejection. The play
was never lost. See
Click on the link below to download a 30-min programme
celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the publication of Kerouac's "On the Road." With Carolyn
Cassady, Al Hinkle, Joyce Johnson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gore Vidal,
McClure, and others:
We carried news of the Michael
McClure play THE BEARD www.thebeardplay.com
- in 2006 and director Nic Saunders has kindly
allowed us to show some photos from the run in July/August of 2006. That's Nic just below with
Photos above right, director Nic Saunders with
playwright Michael McClure outside the Old Red Lion Theatre in London. Bottom left...THE
BEARD, a scene being filmed by Colin Still. Right, Billy The Kid
(Christopher Daley) and
Jean Harlow (Victoria Yeates) in a scene from the play. All photos copyright Nic Saunders.
above, Michael McClure at a book signing in London
during his visit to London in July 2006. Photo by Nic Saunders, director
of Michael's play THE BEARD. photo copyright Nic Saunders
Above a photo of Gary Snyder and Anne
Waldman that Anne sent in recently. It was taken at Naropa in Colorado
at the school that Anne co-founded with Allen Ginsberg in the 1970s. The
photo was taken in 1994.
BEAT SCENE subscriber Giuseppe Moretti has sent in this photograph of
Gary Snyder in Italy in September 2005. He was there for readings in Rome
and Florence. The photo is taken up in the Dolomites.
If anyone is interested there is an interview with yours truly at
www.dogmatika.com where I talk
about Beat Scene magazine. Throughout the interview there are many
informative links to the people mentioned. An excellent site regardless
of my inclusion.
Have a look at a fairly new internet site run by
the Cassady family, all about Neal Cassady at
lots of really personal entries.
There is a wonderful article/interview with
photographer Gordon Ball on John Tranter's excellent Jacket site.
Photos of Huncke, Ginsberg, Corso and others. Go to
Thank you David Knowles for
reminding me to include this link to the Naropa Archives of Beat
Recordings at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in
Colorado. They are in the never ending process of transferring the
cassette tapes onto discs to better preserve them. People like Gregory
Corso, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Ken Kesey and many others.
You might know about this already, but just in case – some interesting
Check out The Jack and Stella
Kerouac Center For American Studies in Lowell at
the center is at 61 Wilder Street, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854, USA. Tel