Really looking forward to heading up to Edinburgh on Friday for the Allen Ginsberg event. I'll be reading the Ginsberg poem I was allocated (The Kitten and the Bricklayer's Cap) and my own poem written in response to it. Sounds like it's going to be a great night of poetry, film and music, more details below in case anyone is interested and in the area.
I'm staying over in a youth hostel and spending Saturday in Glasgow with a friend, we plan to wander around the west end reminiscing over the good ol' student days, so it's going to be good! Providing I don't get lost, I'm not all that familiar with Edinburgh but I shall go armed with print-outs of google maps!!
I've been pretty lazy about writing recently, a mixture of excitement about the pamphlet and also been busy with domestic stuff. I think once the launch is out of the way I'll have the head space to work on poems. I've been reading quite a lot though but I find myself coming back, time and time again, to the Durs Grunbein Collected that I picked up at St. Andrews this year. I'm not entirely sure why, the poems are just so immensely enjoyable, fun, playing with language and ideas, and yet striking deep, unexpectedly so. I'll aim to do a review of sorts of it sometime.
FOREST CAFE HOSTS BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR BEAT GENERATION LEGEND
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN GINSBERG, Friday 3rd June, 7.30pm, Bristo Hall (Forest Cafe)
Friday 3rd June this year would have been the 85th birthday of legendary Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg, and to celebrate the occasion, Read This Press are teaming up with Edinburgh's Forest Cafe to throw a massive birthday bash in his honour.
Read This Press editors Claire Askew and Stephen Welsh have spent the past few months compiling an anthology of contemporary poems which respond to Ginsberg's original works. Poets from all over the world got in touch to request one of Ginsberg's poems to respond to, and the editors were overwhelmed with hundreds of submissions. From these, just 33 were chosen to be included in a limited edition, handmade chapbook of poems, named Starry Rhymes after one of the great man's lesser-known poems. Poets whose works have been selected include Sally Evans, Kevin MacNeil and Eddie Gibbons, whose latest collection was shortlisted for the 2011 Scottish Book of the Year award.
The HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN GINSBERG event will take place on Friday 3rd June, in the Forest Cafe's cavernous Bristo Hall. As well as marking the official launch of the Starry Rhymes chapbook, it will also host a rare screening of Ginsberg's 1967 London travelogue, Ah! Sunflower, and feature a solo set from the brilliant Withered Hand, taking time out of his UK tour to play for Allen's birthday. Poets whose works are featured in the chapbook will perform their pieces alongside Allen Ginsberg's, and other literary folk are invited to step up to the mic and offer their birthday tributes to the great man.
The event begins at 7.30pm and is totally free to enter. Forest operates a BYOB policy, and donations to the Save the Forest fund will be encouraged. Attendees will be able to purchase copies of Starry Rhymes at the event, and it will also be available for purchase online thereafter.
Loved by readers since his emergence onto the literary scene in the mid 1950s, Ginsberg was one of the foremost figures in the Beat movement, and as well as producing seminal works such as Howl and America, he was also responsible for the promotion and publication of some of the great Beat novels including William S Burroughs' Junky and Jack Kerouac's On The Road. His most famous work, the volume Howl and Other Poems, was the subject of a high profile obscenity trial upon its publication in 1955, and this trial and its eventual outcome was recently depicted in the movie Howl, which starred James Franco and David Strathairn.