[Allen Ginsberg in Tompkins Square Park, New York, 1966 - photograph by Charles Gatewood, courtesy Robert Taft Gallery]
Denise Levertov, William Carlos Williams... that's as close as it gets. The United States Post Office is honoring ten poets in 2012 (a, primarily, academic bunch), placing their faces on postage stamps. Williams but no Ginsberg? - not even a Howl stamp? We at The Ginsberg Project feel we've been dissed! - Just as well, maybe..
Our naked/nude Ginsberg posting of last week seems to have aroused interest (no, not like that!). Here's another snap from that notorious 39th birthday party, 1965, (Indeed, here's a terrific portfolio of a variety of "Hoppy" (John Hopkins) photos - here).
Comedian/conjurer Penn Jillette seemed to be getting into the spirit of things, the other week, visiting San Francisco's Beat Museum.
Speaking of San Francisco, we join in the chorus of appreciation for photographer Charles Gatewood, whose latest show, Charles Gatewood's Greatest Hits: 1960's to Now, opened yesterday there, at the Robert Taft Gallery (it's up till the end of November). The Beat connection is strong here. Not only the famous image of Allen (see above). The exhibition coincides with the release of Burroughs 23, a limited edition artist's book of Gatewood's iconic William Burroughs photos.
Gatewood on his Ginsberg pic - "Visionary poet Allen Ginsberg was a champion of free love and free expression, two of my favorite subjects...(he) was also a fan of consciousness-expanding drugs, which interested me a great deal...Opening my Leica's 90 mm lens to f.28, I made light-through-the-trees melt into bursts of psychedelic dot patterns. Marijuana joints were passed and brown-bag beers were shared as one of our greatest underground heroes proceeded to blow our everlovin' minds."
Ginsberg and drugs? - Psychedelia? - Here's another "60's recollection. A telephone-interview with Allen by then-High Times editor, Peter Gorman. When Gorman asks for a story about Timothy Leary, Allen tells of the time Leary came to his New York apartment to finally meet Jack Kerouac and how they wound up taking psilocybin together. The "audio collage" also features contributions by Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) and Aldous' widow, Laura Huxley.
Alarming news out of Seattle - the theft of The Ginsberg Nude Drawing with Glasses! (and several other priceless canvases)