1. Good news: Diane DiPrima is back in the spotlight! She’s kept a low profile for as long as I’ve known her name, and I’ve wondered if I’d ever have a chance to hear her do a reading in person. I still haven’t caught her myself, but I’ve heard glowing reports from a poetry reading in Camden, N.J., and I was sorry to hear that I missed an appearance at the St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project here in New York. I hope she’ll be back soon …
2. Why are literary mailing lists on the internet so conducive to flame wars? Not long ago a virulent flare-up on the PYNCHON-L, involving a few list members who’d personally known Thomas Pynchon fighting against each other and the rest of the list, was actually collected and published as a book called ‘Lineland‘.
A couple of weeks ago, an epic flame war on the BEAT-L mailing list, which I enjoyed being a part of for the past three years, caused listowner Bill Gargan to finally throw up his hands in disgust and close the list down for good. You can read more about the whole mess here. I was very sorry to see this excellent (if sometimes ridiculous) list go away, and I was happy when list survivors Diane Carter and Luke Kelly (proprietor of the William S. Burroughs-oriented website Big Table)
managed to create a new replacement list, SUBTERRANEANS, in record time. If you’re interested in reading about or joining this list, here’s a FAQ that explains everything. The good news is that flame wars are banned on this list; the bad news is that in order to post to it it is necessary to know how to spell “subterraneans”.
3. There’s going to be a big memorial bash for Allen Ginsberg on June 12 and 13, arranged by the irrepressible scene-maker/muck-raker Al Aronowitz. The first event is on June 12 at the Central Park Bandshell in New York City, and is expected to feature Amiri Baraka, Richie Havens, David Amram, Anne Waldman, Rick Danko and Pete Seeger. The second event is at the Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey (where Ginsberg was born) on June 13. This has been in the planning stages for a long time, and until recently nobody was sure if Aronowitz was actually going to pull the event off. At this point it’s starting to generate some real buzz, and may even turn out to be something special. Another Ginsberg memorial event at the Cathedral of St. John The Divine in upper Manhattan on May 14 should also be good, and is guaranteed to bring out only the Beat faithful, since everybody else will be home watching the final episode of ‘Seinfeld’.