Poetry Readings

Beat News: August 21 1999

1. The Literary Kicks Summer Poetry Happening at the Bitter End in New York City turned out to be an amazing night -- read all about it and check out some pictures here.

Also, Bob Holman was nice enough to remember the event by putting up the words spoken by Charles Plymell here.

LitKicks Summer Poetry Happening at the Bitter End

Wow. I can't believe it's finally over.

Literary Kicks Summer Poetry Happening

Beat News: June 20 1999

1. The late satirist/writer Terry Southern is the subject of a new website, terrysouthern.com, composed by his son Nile Southern. It's good to be able to enjoy these great nuggets of late-period hipster culture (Southern wrote the screenplay for 'Easy Rider', among many other films and books). It's also nice to see a new trend growing: adult children of beat writers putting together websites as personal tributes to their parents (cf.

Beat News: February 2 1999

1. Lots of people have heard about the excellent Kurt Vonnegut graduation speech that got sent all over the internet last year before everybody figured out that Vonnegut never gave the speech. But here, and also pretty good, is something Kurt Vonnegut actually did say.

2. If you're in New York: there'll be a big Burroughs tribute bash Saturday, Feb 5 at 1 pm at St.

Beat News: September 29 1997

1. I think I've been to too many Beat events in large lecture halls and sterile auditoriums lately. Take, for instance, the case of jazz musician David Amram, who back in the old days used to jam with Jack Kerouac at poetry readings.

Beat News: February 28 1997

1. There's an excellent article in the latest issue of Shambhala Sun (a Buddhist journal emanating from somewhere near Naropa in Boulder, Colorado) about the mountain cabin where Jack Kerouac was a fire lookout during the mid 1950s. He wrote about these spiritual retreats in the novels 'Dharma Bums' (which ends with him ascending Desolation Peak) and 'Desolation Angels' (which begins with him descending it).

Beat News: November 7 1996

1. Whoa! I just heard Gary Snyder will be reading at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square (17th St. around Park Avenue) here in New York City Friday November 8 at 7:30. I'm really psyched, as I've never seen him read before. To other New Yorkers out there: this is not likely to be often repeated, so don't miss the chance.


Poetry at the Old Longshoreman’s Hall

A memoir by Don Carpenter

It was the spring of 1964 and Gary Snyder had just come back from several years in Japan, and I thought it would be a good thing for him to have a public reading of his new poems. Up until then the poetry readings I had gone to had been chaotic and profitless (for the poets), and so the trick would be to set up the reading on a professional basis.

Some years earlier I had hosted a poetry reading in my basement in Portland, Oregon, with Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen reading, and it had been awful, all except for the poetry. It was too crowded, too hot, and when we passed the hat to pay for the wine we only got $1.75. A window got broken and somebody trampled my nasturtiums. But hell. This time, I resolved, there would be planning, care lavished on every detail, the audience would be comfortable and the poets would make a few bucks.

I asked Snyder and Whalen if they would like to read together again if I did all the work and they got all the money, and they agreed. But, it turned out, Donald Allen, the redoubtable editor and translator, who sprung the Beat Generation on the world with Evergreen Review Number Two, had it in mind to offer Snyder and Lew Welch in a joint reading. A meeting was called at my apartment on Jersey Street and it was quickly agreed that we should pool forces.

Beat News: August 12 1996

1. I've mentioned "Wisdom's Maw" before. It's a novel (and a website) by Todd Brendan Fahey about the same real-life characters Tom Wolfe wrote about in the "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." That book was a work of journalism, but Fahey's book is simply fiction, and this frees him to take us on several interesting tangents.

Beat News: July 23 1996

1. The Poetry Project has been a positive force in the New York/downtown lit scene for as long as I can remember. The Project runs readings at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, a beautiful old church that dates back to the days when the East Village was mostly farmland. If you're visiting New York, I'd recommend trying to catch one of these events. How will you know the schedule, you ask? Just check the new Poetry Project website!