First Thought, Best Thought: When Allen Ginsberg Came To KGNU

Allen Ginsberg (left) with Peter Orlovsky

In 1974, the late Allen Ginsberg co-founded Naropa University’s poetry department. As a tireless promoter of fellow Beat Generation writers, Ginsberg named the school in commemoration of one of his close friends: the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Disembodied Poetics? “That’s a joke, because he’s dead,” Ginsberg told biographer Barry Miles. “So he’s disembodied, so to speak.”

Ginsberg was active in politics throughout his life and made countless media appearances, such as on conservative William F. Buckley’s Firing Line in 1968.

Ginsberg discusses all of this in KGNU’s 1988 archival interview. In the segment with Chris O’Riley, Ginsberg reads some poetry and even has some insight into his approach to the craft.


The second half of this episode of From the Archives to the Air begins with Anne Waldman, who cofounded Naropa University’s poetry department with Ginsberg. She is mentioned throughout the episode and it seems right to include an archival clip of her short and memorable poem, “Curse.”

Ann Charters was Jack Kerouac’s first biographer. In 1966 she worked side-by-side with Kerouac to compile a bibliography of his work. At the time of this 1994 KGNU interview (with Anne Waldman and Sam Fuqua) she had just completed the first of two volumes of Kerouac’s collected correspondence and reads some of his letters for us. Check out her enthusiasm in reading a postcard Kerouac wrote to his mother, and later included in On The Road!

Listen:

  • cover play_arrow

    First Thought, Best Thought: When Allen Ginsberg Came To KGNU John Kelin

Download Audio

 

This episode of From The Archive to the Air was produced and presented by John Kelin and Alexis Kenyon from KGNU Archival Audio.

 

CREDITS

Blue Monk [Thelonious Monk], by Jazz at Mladost Club is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Outer East by Horse Lords is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Black Mold by Here Comes A Big Black Cloud!! is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Ginsberg: A Biography, by Barry MIles, provided factual data.

 

  • cover play_arrow

    First Thought, Best Thought: When Allen Ginsberg Came To KGNU John Kelin

John Kelin

John Kelin

Search

Now Playing

Recent Stories

Upcoming Events

0%