Beat News: April 5 1996

1. I found Anne Waldman‘s new collection of Beat writings, “The Beat Book,” in a bookstore recently. It covers many of the same writers as the other well-known Beat anthology (Ann Charters’ “Beat Reader”) but with less expository material and a few writers (Joanne Kyger, for instance) who were not included in the Charters book. Seems like an excellent introductory volume.

2. I’m happily noticing that Bob Kaufman
is getting more attention lately. I get a significant amount of e-mail about this enigmatic and complicated jazz poet, and there’s also going to be a special evening of readings dedicated to his works at St. Mark’s Church in New York on April 17. Readers will include Cecil Taylor, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Ted Joans.

Meanwhile on the West Coast: Michael McClure and Gary Snyder are appearing tomorrow at a reading in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Sorry for the late notice … I also don’t
know much about this event. It’s good to know that Gary Snyder is making appearances though. I hope he’ll show up sometime in New York.

3. Remember a few weeks ago in this space when I complained that nobody would buy the Voyager/Red Hot “Beat Experience” CD-Rom for forty dollars? Well, I just found out the price has been reduced to a MUCH more reasonable $25.99. YES! I wonder … did I have anything to do with this?

4. Speaking of egotistical notions … the New York Times Website wrote an incredibly nice article about me and my own web works, particularly my Queensboro Ballads project. I sent copies to all my relatives — many of whom still don’t understand what the Web is, but if the New York Times likes me, even my family may have to give in. Anyway, the article is here. Also, I “remastered” some of the larger graphics files on Queensboro Ballads for better quality and smaller size (I finally have a copy of Photoshop, as you may have already noticed), so if you got frustrated with it in the past due to large download times, please give it another try.

5. Here’s a bizarre find: William S. Burroughs appears on a new X-Files soundtrack album, reciting “Star Me Kitten” as REM plays in the background. I want to believe.

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