"Born Shigeyoshi Murao
in 1926, he was universally known as Shig. His playful demeanor—not to mention his signature beard, Pendleton shirts, Royal Air Force exercise vest, horn-rimmed glasses, and bowler—rendered him unforgettable. But that did not make him easy to know.
Shig, who died in 1999, is largely remembered for an event that occurred on June 3, 1957, when two undercover agents from the San Francisco Police Juvenile Squad showed up at City Lights to buy a seventy-five-cent book of poetry
." [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Oct 5, 2011 -
poet of ecological awareness
[YouTube link], Zen appreciation
of "ordinary mind" and American speech, shamanistic intimacy
with the natural world, and surviving member of the Beat Generation (West Coast posse)
at age 78, has won
the $100,000 Ruth Lilly poetry prize. "Gary Snyder
is in essence a contemporary devotional poet, though he is not devoted to any one god or way of being so much as to Being itself," said Poetry
magazine editor Christian Wiman. "His poetry is a testament to the sacredness of the natural world and our relation to it, and a prophecy of what we stand to lose if we forget that relation.” Previous recipients of the Lilly prize include Adrienne Rich
, John Ashbery
, and W.S. Merwin
. [Previously mentioned here
posted by digaman
on May 7, 2008 -
Kerouac's On The Road: The 50th Anniversary Of A Book I Had Not Read I can't be the only one whose impression of the book, from hearing about it but not actually reading it, was that it was about young, potent men, lost in a growing commercial society, two coiled springs ready to pop, looking for adventure-- America style. And this Road Trip that launched a thousand, other boring, useless road trips, was about young men looking to experience the world, really see, really live, really feel, free of the constraints of an artificial post war soulless society . . . That impression is wrong. You know what the book is really about? It's a primer on how to be a narcissist.
posted by jason's_planet
on Oct 18, 2007 -
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander
on Mar 2, 2007 -
"Without any particular training or background, this patient, just prior to his enlistment, enthusiastically embarked upon the writing of novels. He sees nothing unusual in this activity
." Who was the patient? A 21-year-old seaman named Jack Kerouac
, who would become the author of On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Dr. Sax, Visions of Cody
and many other great novels that you should be reading instead of these gaddam websites. (The diagnosis from the Navy doctors, "schizoid personality," earned Kerouac a discharge.) A hilarious and poignant find from The Smoking Gun
posted by digaman
on Oct 2, 2005 -
of Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth
fame. Semicoherent Bob Dylan review, a paean to Kerouac, and an entertaining interview with William Burroughs. Pretentious, but, uh, you know, if you're into that sort of thing...
There's some more stuff of his around his
posted by ITheCosmos
on Apr 10, 2005 -
one of the most exquisite and influential poets of our era, died this morning at age 78. I'd link to a story, but it's not in the news yet. This is a note from one of Robert's friends: "American poet Robert Creeley passed away this morning at 6:15 am in Odessa, Texas, where he was fulfilling a Residency at the Lannan Foundation. (Mr. Creeley was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.) His wife of twenty-eight years, Penelope, and son Will and daughter Hannah were at his side. The cause of death was complications from respiratory disease." Though a comrade and muse
for Beat Generation writers like Allen Ginsberg
and Jack Kerouac
, Creeley was much less well-known, and had a style rather unlike theirs, distinguished by extreme economy of words and an understated approach toward emotion. Creeley was often cited as a pioneer by the so-called language poets
, and his most creatively generative friendship was with another poet's poet, the late Charles Olson
. Creeley's subtlety and balance will be missed.
posted by digaman
on Mar 30, 2005 -
Do you consider yourself a latter-day "beatnik"? Even young fans
of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg proudly christen themselves
with the tag beatnik
these days, apparently unaware that word was originally coined as a term of ridicule
by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen. "Beat" was indeed used by Kerouac to denote both "beaten down" and "beatitude"
-- a state of revelation. He first heard the word spoken
by a Times Square hustler and writer named Herbert Huncke; then another writer, John Clellon Holmes, popularized the term "Beat" in a New York Times article
headlined "This is the Beat Generation." But the original Beats did not approve of the term "beatnik" -- combining "beat" with the Russian "Sputnik,"
as if to suggest that the Beat writers were both "out there" and vaguely Communist -- as this hilarious dialogue
[note: MP3 link] between a very young Ginsberg, anthropologist Margaret Mead, and an excruciatingly square talk-radio host makes plain.
posted by digaman
on Jan 14, 2005 -
Ken Kesey's page, in which:
He offers to burn copies of about two hundred minutes of recordings that he made of Neil Cassady, driving the Magic Bus, in 1964. Here's the kicker....no credit cards, no C.O.D.....you order them, they send them, they bill you, you pay them. Trust me, folks, if you're a fan of the Beats, this is amazing stuff. Hearing Kerouac's muse rant into the night while ballin' down the highway is a rare treat indeed.
posted by Optamystic
on Sep 25, 2000 -