Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hank O'Neal

[photo: Allen Ginsberg, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. December 1981. c. Hank O'Neal]

We've added some more photos to the "Photography" section of the Allen Ginsberg.org website, among them a handful by photographer Hank O'Neal, who took this classic photo of Ginsberg with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of the Clash. Hank worked with Allen and John Hammond Sr on his "First Blues" album back in 1983. He'd worked with Berenice Abbott for almost a dozen years, and, soon after meeting Allen, introduced him to Abbot, just at the time when Allen was re-discovering his craft of photography. Visit O'Neal's site for more info.

Also definitely check out Reality Studio's 2006 interview with O'Neal, conducted just before the publication of Gay Day: The Golden Age of the Christopher Street Parade 1974-1983 a book documenting the early days of the NYC gay parade when he lived on Christopher Street. Allen meticulously notated these photos and they've reproduced this in the book. Unfortunately the book got very little push, and went out-of-print almost as soon as it hit the stores! - definitely worth tracking down a copy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Calcutta College Street Coffee House turns 50

[image: College Street Coffee House, Calcutta. Sunil Ganguly Foreground, Peter Orlovsky to his left. Summer 1962. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Unfortunately this is the only photo Ginsberg snapped at the coffee house where he & Peter spent hours talking poetry with among others the Krittbas writers Sunil Ganguly, Shakti Chattopadhyay and Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay during the summer of 1962. In commemorating the 50th aniversary, The Calcutta Telegraph give us a little background and history to this Bengali literary landmark & institution.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Taylor Mead & Allen Ginsberg, Beat Studies Papers, Naropa's New President....

[image: Taylor Mead & Allen Ginsberg. Sebastian Piras]

A little over 12 years ago photographer Sebastian Piras brought Taylor Mead over to Allen's new loft to film a conversation between the two. A version of that is now up on You Tube and interaction between the two is as amusing as one might expect. Allen had just moved into his loft space that month, and would only be alive another 2 months or so. Jump over to Sebastian's website for more. While you're at it, it's definitely worth checking Sebastian's nifty pocket photobook A Pocketful of Contemporary Artists collection of 120 artist's-in-their-studio portraits shot over the last 25 or so years that came out last fall.

On the academic front....

The Beat Studies Association have just posted papers that were presented at the Beat Generation Symposium at Columbia College in Chicago last fall. What I've read so far has been enjoyably informative with subjects ranging from Joanne Kyger to Haiku, Bob Kaufman to Quebcois, Kerouac to DiPrima and they're all just one click away...

On other academic fronts, Naropa University announced the selection of their new president, Stuart Lord. A trained theologian and ordained minister, Lord is an active member at the Karme Choling Shambhala Meditation Center in Barnet, Vermont., and was most recently the Associate Provost at Dartmouth College.

2012 update - Sebastian Piras' footage is now available with transcription in our Annotated Streaming Video series here.

Charles Leaf (as of Spring 2012) has become the new (current) President of Naropa