Category Archives: Steven Taylor

>Anne Waldman


[Allen Ginsberg & Anne Waldman, Vienna, 1993. Schule für dichtung Wien]

Indefatigeable, irrepressible, poet, teacher and activist, Anne Waldman, Allen’s ‘spiritual wife’, is 66 today. Auspicious numbers. Here‘s Anne, from 2006, reading her memorial poem for Allen, “Notes on Sitting Beside A Noble Corpse”. Here she is with Steven Taylor, and Tyler Burba, sounding out Allen’s Gospel Noble Truths. Here‘s her and Allen at NAROPA in 1975, vintage audio, (Allen reads “Howl” and Anne reads “Fast Speaking Woman”). Here‘s the home-page for the NAROPA Summer Writing Program. Here‘s a link to her memories of the halcyon days of The Poetry Project (just recently recorded). Here‘s a recent (2010) interview (with David Rapoport) at the old Marble Cemetery on the Lower East Side. Here‘s the reading/performance she gave on that occasion. Here are two separate readings of her iconic “Make Up On Empty Space” (the first, from 2oo2, at Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the occasion of a symposium on her work there, and of the purchase, by the Hatcher Library, of her considerable literary archives; the second, from just two weeks ago, in Montreal, at Voix D’Ameriques, collaborating/improvising with the Brahja Waldman Quintet). Here‘s her reading from the Therigatha at Jewel Heart in 2009 and her “Neurolinguistically: This Is A Writing Dance” from the same occasion. Here‘s a full half hour of her reading at the Prague Writers Festival that same year. Here‘s her in Nicaragua (with Colombian poet Angela Garcia). Here‘s her at Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin (subtitled in Spanish). One more reading and discussion, this one, her appearance last year at the New School (now New School University)’s Riggio Forum, discussing her then just recently-published book Manatee/Humanity and on-going project Iovis. Her son, Ambrose Bye, also performs.

A fine extended interview with Molly Schwartzburg, curator of British and American Literature at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, on the occasion of their 2008 “On The Road with the Beats” exhibition can be accessed here. Anne is also video-ed/interviewed by the New York State Writers Institute, and, slightly less formally, by Waylon Lewis for Elephant magazine.
Not to mention a host of printed interviews, among them, with Richard Eskow (2008), Pam Brown (2010), Amy King (2010) and Sonya Lee Ralph (2011). Eric Lorberer’s 1998 interview for Rain Taxi is also worth seeking out.

She’s famously hung with Bob Dylan. Marianne Faithfull recites her poem “Hopes & Fears”.
Here‘s her Penn Sounds page. Here‘s her EPC page. Here‘s her Facebook page.
And finally here‘s excerpts from her performing Howl (with Matthew Hemerlein and a string quartet) last July at Busboys and Poets in Washington.

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Filed under Anne Waldman, Brahja Waldman, David Rapoport, Elephant Journal, Naropa Summer Writing Program, St Marks Poetry Project, Steven Taylor, Tyler Burba

>Guru Blues


Videoheads, an artist’s video collective, now based in Amsterdam, made several video recordings of Allen over the years, in London, Amsterdam, and Paris. This is a snippet from his performance (with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky) at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 1979. The spirited rendition of “Guru Blues” is introduced by, (unrelated) Allen, en francais, noting that the children of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (Robert and Michael Meeropol) had written a book (We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (1975)), about their experience growing up as the children of the famously executed pair. Dark Cold War secrets.

The version of “Guru Blues” is followed by a reading of the poem “On Neal’s Ashes”.

And here, by contrast, is the studio recording.

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Filed under Allen Ginsberg, Guru Blues, Neal Cassady, Peter Orlovsky, Steven Taylor

>Friends and Colleagues Remember Allen

(Larry Rivers, Jack Kerouac, David Amram, Allen Ginsberg, & Gregory Corso (in hat), during the filming of Pull My Daisy. c. John Cohen/Hulton Archive)

In today’s Guardian, Hermione Hoby has collected some entertaining accounts from Joyce Johnson, John Allen Cassady, Steven Taylor and Anne Waldman, memories of Allen, that can be read here on the Guardian site.

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Filed under Anne Waldman, John Allen Cassady, Joyce Johnson, Steven Taylor

>Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 1

[Allen Ginsberg & Steven Taylor, Passaic Falls, Paterson, NJ, May 1978. photo: c. Terry Sanders]


Allen was always proud of – and rightly so – his New Jersey roots. This past weekend, several young poets from that State gathered together at The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College for the annual Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, “honoring Allen Ginsberg’s Contribution to American Literature.”

In a related story, Allen is – and, perhaps surprisingly, given the company – among those nominated for the 2011 New Jersey Hall of Fame in what appears to be a spirited local boostering enterprise. Curiously under the “General” not the “Arts and Entertainment” category (movie stars like John Travolta and Bruce Willis are among the latter, not to mention Queen Latifah and singer Tony Bennett!). Voters are encouraged to vote on-line and the top vote-getters will be officially inducted in the Spring. Seems tho’, you have to vote for someone in each of the categories, you can’t just vote for Allen – oh well, he’s already a de facto New Jersey hall-of-famer, as far as we’re concerned!


Seems the current omnipresence of Howl has summoned up all sorts of feelings and nostalgia and memories. One tiny annotation that you might well have missed (it appeared buried in another blog’s Comments section) is from New Yorker Stefan Jones who writes:

“”who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to…”.My grandparents owned Fugazzis, and ran it at the time Howl was written. My father tended bar there for a short time, while in grad school.It was on 6th, a few doors down from the Waverly theater. The building was torn down and a fast food place installed. According to my parents, the clientele were old Italian guys who came for the polenta and bacala special, and beatniks.I have vague toddler memories of the place, and my grandparents’ apartment up above”.

Anybody else out there got any site-specific Howl memories?

[Bill Katz & James Schuyler, November 7, 1987. photo. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]


Someone kindly pointed out in our comments that November 9 was Jimmy Schuyler’s birthday as well as Anne Sexton’s. We’re particularly keen on Schuyler here, and it just so happens one of our frequent contributors, Simon Pettet, was editor on a number of his books, the most recent being Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems published earlier this year.

The photo find of the week is this one by Douglas Gilbert of Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg oustside Albert Grossman’s house house in Woodstock, NY 1964. That’s the same house the cover of Bringing it All Back Home was shot in a year later, where Dylan’s pictured sitting with Sally Grossman. We found if off Jody’s When you Awake page, but the full book Forever Young published by DaCapo Press is available and has plenty more interesting images.

أغنيــــــة (قصيدة مترجمة)

Last but not least, we came across this Arabic translation of “Song” posted by London based Libyan, Ghazi Gheblawi on his blog. Anyone with better Arabic skills than us have any take on the translation?

أغنيــــــة (قصيدة مترجمة)

الحب هو
عبء العالم.
تحت وطأة
تحت وطأة
اللا اكتفاء
العبء الذي نحمله
هو الحب.
من يستطيع أن ينكر؟
أنه في الاحلام
في الفكر
في الخيال
حتى يولد
في إنسان –
يطل من القلب
مشتعلاً بنقاء –
لأن الحب،
هو عبء الحياة،
لكننا نواصل بارهاق
حمل العبء،
لذا فإننا يجب أن نسترح
في احضان الحب،
يجب أن نسترح في احضان
لا راحة
بلا حب،
لا نوم
بلا احلام
عن الحب –
سواء أكنت طائشاً أو هادئاً
مهووساً بالملائكة
أو الآلات،
فإن الامنية الاخيرة
هي الحب
ــ لن تكون مرةً،
لا تستطيع انكارها،
لا تستطيع كبتها
إن انكرتها:
العبء ثقيلٌ جداً
ــ يجب أن تمنح
بلا مقابل
كما تُمنح الفكرة
في العزلة
بكل اسرافها الباذخ.
الاجساد الدافئة
تلمع في الظلمة
تتحرك الكف
إلى مركز
ترتعش البشرة
وتصل الروح
مبتهجة إلى العين –
نعم، نعم،
ذلك ما اردته،
اردت دائماً،
اردت دائماً،
أن اعود
إلى الجسد
حيث ولدت.

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Filed under Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton, Arabic, Bob Dylan, Fugazzi's, Ghazi Gheblawi, Howl, James Schuyler, Simon Pettet, Song, Stefan Jones, Steven Taylor, The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College

>Dope Fiend Blues

We’re not supposed to encourage online posting of copyrighted materiel outright, but we figure just one track from a full album doesn’t hurt and well, maybe just might rouse some curiosity in the album First Blues which the good people at Water Records/Runt Distribution reissued in 2006, complete with original liner notes, (which is available on the shop among other places.) This is such a great recording of Dope Fiend Blues.

Allen writes: Read between the lines you get Orient non-attachment rather than Western addiction. Jon Sholle guitar thru pig-amp sets funky ’50’s style. (Steven) Taylor’s letter-perfect vocal harmony was practiced thru five years’ fun in Europe & America at poetry readings


Filed under Allen Ginsberg, First Blues, Steven Taylor

>Peter Orlovsky Memorial: Wednesday September 22, 8pm. St. Mark’s Church, 2nd Ave & East 10th St., New York City


There will be a memorial Reading for poet, Peter Orlovsky on Wednesday, September 22, 8pm. St. Mark’s Church. 10th St at 2nd Ave, NYC. The event is free.

Peter Orlovsky (July 8,1933-May 30, 2010) Poet, singer, farmer, yodeler, banjo-picker, Buddhist practitioner, Allen Ginsberg’s lifelong-companion, Kerouac’s Simon Darlovsky in Desolation Angels & George in The Dharma Bums, the generous & wonderfully whimsical Peter Orlovsky, was an unforgettable & hugely colorful presence in the East Village, and in and around the Poetry Project.

Please join us in a night of music, video, song and poetry, as some of his closest friends pay tribute to him including: Chuck Lief – Philip Glass – Ed Sanders – Steven Taylor – Hal Willner – Janine Pommy Vega – Andy Clausen – Patti Smith – Ambrose Bye – Miriam Sanders – Anne Waldman – Gordon Ball – Rosebud Pettet – Simon Pettet – Juanita Lieberman – Bill Morgan – Anselm Berrigan – Bob Rosenthal – Beverly Isis – John Godfrey – and others TBA

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Filed under Andy Clausen, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Janine Pommy Vega, John Godfrey, Patti Smith, Peter Orlovsky, Philip Glass, Simon Pettet, Steven Taylor

>Asia Society: Beats in India Symposium

>In 2008, the Asia Society hosted a mini conference on the Beats in India, partly to celebrate the publication of Deborah Baker’s book A Blue Hand that follows Allen, Gary Snyder, Joanne Kyger, Peter Orlovsky and the mysterious Hope Savage through India. The conference offered some lively debate on who influenced who, and the whole legacy of this first trip they all made back in 1961. This clip, produced by the Asia Society, is a full day simmered down to 5 mins, with playful jibes and comments from Gita Mehta reading from her book Karma Cola, Ed Sanders, Ginsberg biographer Bill Morgan, Steven Taylor, John Giorno, Joanne Kyger and Gary Snyder.

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Filed under A Blue Hand, Bill Morgan, Deborah Baker, Ed Sanders, Gary Snyder, Gita Mehta, Joanne Kyger, John Giorno, Steven Taylor