WE WERE THERE TOO: But We’re Banned from Blog:Harriet now. And WHY? Did Martin Earl find us troublesome? Or what about you, Annie Finch, or you Camille Dungy? Don Share? Cathy Halley? You were all there along with Gary Fitzgerald and Michael Robbins? Who in the light of the International Poetry Incarnation of 1965 could possibly have allowed this to happen in 2009, and at The Poetry Foundation of all places???

International Poetry Incarnation,
The Original Program,
The Royal Albert Hall, June 11th, 1965,
Smoking Permitted.

Albert Hall 1aAlbert Hall 2


Thomas, Gary, Christopher, Camille, Annie, Michael, Don, Cathy, others…

I certainly don’t see a problem, and I second Thomas’s drift in this comment. The thread is about open space, cornfield, Nebraska style space. Thomas has a point. You read what you want to read. Volume can only be stimulating, especially when the discourse is conducted at such a high level. I’m sure this is exactly what Ms. Lilly had in mind, free and open forums which grow organically. Any given post can sustain pointed commentary for only so long before drift, meta-commentary, opinion, personal ideology and the gifts of individual experience begin to take hold. I, for one, feel extremely lucky, as one of the hired perpetrators these last few months that the threads unfold the way they do. Maybe Gary has a point – some people could be scared away by the clobbering breadth of the most enthusiastic threaders. But perhaps not. I suspect a lot of people are reading just for the fun of it, for the spectacle, without necessarily feeling the need to contribute. And I’ve seen enough examples of people, late in the day, breaking in without any trepidation. Thomas has brought up a lot of good points here about the way things are supposed to work. And I would say, having observed this process over the last six months, that, given the lawlessness, there has always been a sense of decorum, even decorum threaded into the syntax of insult (a wonderful thing to see). We are all at a very lucky moment in the progress of letters. A kind of 18th century vibrancy is again the order of the day. We should all thank the circumstances that have led to this moment. We should drink a lot of coffee and get to work.


Honestly, you all, go and read such passionate and well-informed commentary, and BLUSH! Go and read it right here, and then look at Harriet today!



  1. thomasbrady said,

    October 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Would Allen Ginsberg have been banned from Blog: Harriet?

    click to read post

    “Are you beautiful? Are you my angel? Will you kiss my tender parts?”

    -125 votes

  2. cowpattyhammer said,

    October 31, 2009 at 1:27 am

    from Blog:Harriet, June 5th, 2009

    I was actually there at the famous/infamous INTERNATIONAL POETRY INCARNATION at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 11th, 1965, organized in part by Eric Mottram, and the real start of the poetry wars. Here’s who appeared more or less dressed but don’t worry, not sober. But before the list picture where it’s at, the Royal Albert Hall, white and gold, airy and good, ready for the silver-haired conductor to raise his baton in hushed silence even as we smoked like chimneys and our too many children peed on the floor:

    Pablo Neruda
    Laurence Ferlinghetti
    Michael Horowitz
    Pablo Fernandez
    Christopher Logue
    Pete Brown

    Gregory Corso
    Harry Fainlight
    John Esam
    Paolo Lionni
    Alexander Trocchi

    Anselm Hollo
    Ernst Jandl
    Simon Vinkenoog
    Dan Richter
    George Macbeth
    Adrian Mitchell
    Allen Ginsberg

    and somewhere in the evening
    Andrei Voznesensky.
    and the voice of William Burroughs [sic]

    Sometime later I helped prop up Chögyam Trungpa in Scotland while he peed and then, when we’d got him back in bed, more or less wrote down what I could of the crazy wisdom while throwing shots of whiskey out the window for the dakinis. After Rimpoche had passed out I’d go downstairs in the Scottish darkness to my cold, stone office where I forced it into the poetry which would eventually become Naropa. That was 1969.

    Not my poetry, I’m not saying that–but the impulse to write it, the process, the mechanics, how it got written. Because the scene I’ve just described was already an archetype etched in my mind four years before by Harry Fainlight on acid, Alexander Trocchi on heroin, and Allen Ginsberg on the floor with nothing on but his cymbals.

    So we’re all in this together.