Monday, December 31, 2007

Reggie Gibson at the Bowery Poetry Club

From the Bowery Poetry Club taken in late 2007, Regie Gibson of Love Jones fame, performing his poem "The Word." This is a great video by Todd Watson with a montage of poets, including Walt Whitman and Edna St. Vincent Millay and interviews with among others Taylor Mead, who quips "There's a new excitement in the air individuals are coming back I think," and Regie's amazing performance...Not to be out done by Regie's brush with cinematic fame of course here is the story of how one of Warhol's most cheeky film's came to be called Taylor Mead's Ass

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ferlinghetti chased Subs

Here is a great story about Ferlinghetti's time in WWII as a sub chaser I remember reading about how he came ashore in France, made his way to a cafe and found a poem written on the table cloth by Jacques Prevert. Ferlinghetti later went on to translate his work including Song in the Blood I had a chance a few years ago to ask Ferlinghetti about the similarities between Song in the Blood and Howl as far as the use of repetition and if Ginsberg had been aware of the poem. He was sure that he had not read it at the time of writing Howl. With the new "street view" feature on Google maps if you type in 1010 Montgomery Street you can see the apartment where Ginsberg wrote Howl. Here is a beat walking tour provided by Hotel Boheme

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Poetry Night Clubs are all the Rage!

Hugo Ball around 1917.
Check out the new poetry hot spot in Vegas, with poetry on the walls and estrogen vs. testosterone slams! Las Vegas' Poetry Night Club Also not to be missed the Bowery Poetry Club is having a New Year's Eve Party, not to mention the 20 to 30 events that take place there every week. Full disclosure as Managing Director of the Bowery Poetry Club I am kind of partial to the place. Of course the original poetry night club was Cabaret Voltaire which has been saved by Swatch! Karawane anyone? I know you are thinking to yourself I wonder if Marie Osmond every did a rendition of Hugo Ball's famous poem and of the answer is yes.
Donny's sis kicks it DaDa It really is a great performance and makes me wonder how long this spoken word thing has been going on? I wonder if Homer really was our Home boy? Here is the full story of Marie's transformation and Ball's original performance

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Poetry News

Stephen Elliott has a nice piece on the spoken word/poetry slam scene in the San Francisco Chronicle. He gets a few facts and dates wrong, pegging the origins at around 1996, when he arrived. Of course by then the slam had been going strong since 1990. He also says "The poetry slams were taken over by real performers, many of whom wrote beautifully, but non-actors couldn't compete with just words," missing poets like Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Robert Karimi and he fails to mention San Francisco and San Jose shared the National Poetry Slam title in 1999. A little digging on his part would have revealed San Jose's first slam in 1991 had 65 poets participate and was organized by Michael Vaughn. San Fransisco hosted the first ever coming together of cities to compete in a poetry slam in 1990 and that event lead to the formation of the National Poetry Slam and was hosted by your blogger. Elliott puts the end of the scene at 2001 and so misses poets like Mike McGee who recently performed a 24-Hour Solo Solstice Poetry Feature. Youth Speaks continues to host amazing events including the 2005 Youth National Poetry Slam, "Brave New Voices," which had over 3,000 people attend. Elliot's Article

Showing even more depth to the San Francisco scene, going back to 1907, is another article from the Chronicle on George Sterling's 'Wine of Wizardry' I think Sterling would have loved the poetry slam. Sterling

Jenny Holzer's "Projections," a brilliant, hypnotic installation of projected texts opened at Mass MoCA's giant Building 5, and runs through Oct. of 2008. She is now using other people's poetry for her art work including the poems of Nobel-winning Polish writer Wislawa Szymborska, including the chilling poem, "The Terrorist.Holtzer