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Jack Kerouac's "Blues & Haikus"





In the spring of 1958, just a few weeks after cutting
Poetry for the Beat Generation, producer Bob Thiele suggested making a second album -- quite a daring notion, considering that the first album would prove so controversial that it wouldn't reach the public for a year -- and Jack Kerouac agreed. Instead of pianist Steve Allen, however, Kerouac insisted that he be accompanied this time by two good friends, tenor saxmen Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. With Cohn doubling on piano, the resulting Blues and Haikus is a stunning duet between speaker and saxmen, working spontaneously in this peculiar mix of jazz and voice, in which the saxmen do get their solo spots around Kerouac's work. There's much more of a sense on this album of a conscious interaction here between Kerouac and his accompanists, and the album is more arch but also more intense and more imposing than its predecessor.
-- allmusic

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Gary Snyder * 3.5.09 * University of California - Berkeley



A poetry reading by Gary Snyder on March 5, 2009 at the University of California - Berkeley.



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Photos copyright Christian Martin, 2009.

Gary Snyder * 3.12.87 * University of California - Berkeley



A poetry reading by Gary Snyder on March 21, 1987 at the University of California - Berkeley. Enjoy!



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Tom Waits Tales



Spoken word revelries from Tom Waits on his 2008 "Glitter & Doom" tour. Ain't nothin' else like Tom tellin' a tale...



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An interview with Tom Robbins * Bellingham, WA * 5.14.09



I had the amazing opportunity to interview the legendary author and psychedelic spelunker Tom Robbins on stage at Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, Washington on May 14, 2009. We gave a reading from his novel B is for Beer to a sold-out audience in the outdoor beer garden, accompanied by live music, skits and general revelrie.

At the end of the event, I joined Tom on stage for a conversation -- I had over 20 questions prepared and rehearsed, though got less than half-dozen out. He was particularly interested in me asking him "How did you get started as a writer?" This question set him up for a delectable riff involving Elvis, a dwarf in a green suit, a blonde-in-distress and secret underground lakes beneath Graceland. Photo by Scott Glackman!




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"Salmon Worship: Is It Wrong?" Pt. 2




photos by Chrisitan Martin, copyright 2009

A fundraiser for the Liam Wood School of Fly Fishing and River Soldiering featuring David James Duncan, Sherman Alexie and Jeffrey Foucault; WWU * 9.25.09 * Bellingham, WA. Part two. Download by subscribing to Radio Free Fundi via links at the top of the sidebar, or stream below.




"Salmon Worship: Is It Wrong?" Pt. 1



A fundraiser for the Liam Wood School of Fly Fishing and River Soldiering featuring David James Duncan, Sherman Alexie and Jeffrey Foucault; WWU * 9.25.09 * Bellingham, WA. Part one. Download by subscribing to Radio Free Fundi via links at the top of the sidebar.


Gary Snyder * 5.27.09 * Benaroya Hall, Seattle



Gary Snyder visited Seattle in May 2009 at the invite of Seattle Arts & Lectures and North Cascades Institute (my daytime employer). Without any new collection of poetry or essays to promote, Snyder read from a variety of books, notes and a letters in a warm, intimate presentation at Benaroya Hall. Asked by the Institute to speak a bit about his time as a fire lookout in the North Cascades in the mid-1950s, Snyder reminisced and read several poems written during that time period, including "Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout" and "The Late Snow and Lumber Strike of the Summer of Fifty-four" -- two of my favorites.

Snyder also discusses the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, his Wobbly grandfather soapboxing in Pioneer Square, learning how to cut wood on a stump farm north of Seattle and Finnish anarchist newspapers published near the mouth of the Columbia River in this very special appearance on his home ground of western Washington State. Another podcast will be released in the near future with the question & answers & conversation he partook in after this reading.

More Gary Snyder, along with Jack Kerouac and Edward Abbey, at
www.PodcastCafe.org/RadioFreeFundi. Feedback: djfundi@podcastcafe.org.



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Gary Snyder * 2.14.56 * Reed College



Gary Snyder
Reading from “Myths & Texts,” "Riprap" and other poems at Reed College, Portland, OR
February 14, 1956


On February 13, 1956, Gary Snyder ’51 returned to Reed College with Allen Ginsberg for a poetry reading at Anna Mann Cottage. The next day, when the poets read again, the unscheduled event was recorded.

The reel of audiotape containing the Ginsberg reading, including his reading of “Howl,” was discovered in 2007 in Reed’s Hauser Library by John Suiter, a writer doing research for a biography of Snyder. Beside the reel was a note that contained disappointing news about the Snyder half of the reading: “Tape #1 Missing.”

Then, the morning after the “Howl” story appeared in Portland’s Oregonian, Steven Halpern ’85, a Portland-based photographer, showed up at the door of Reed’s special collections with an audiocassette copy of the missing tape. He had made the copy 25 years before as an English major doing research on Snyder’s friend and fellow-poet Lew Welch ’50. Tape 1 contained Snyder’s reading. Furthermore, Halpern had meticulously transferred from the original reel all the labeling information, which not only confirmed the exact date of the reading—February 14, 1956—but also included this note:

Poetry Reading made in the school year ’55–1956 at Reed College [when] Snyder was on a trip North from San Francisco that is briefly described in Dharma Bums trip with Allen Ginsberg. Snyder talks about his lookout experiences and early poetry writing.

Although the original reel has yet to surface, Halpern’s cassette is a superb copy—virtually equal in sound quality to the Ginsberg companion reel—and is more than twice as long, containing a lengthy selection of 46 Snyder poems.

--Copyright 2008,
Reed College (for educational purposes only!)



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More info on this reading at The Oregonian and in this pdf story by Snyder scholar John Suiter.
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Edward Abbey : Freedom & Wilderness II



I am currently packing up my backpack for a forthcoming trip to the redrock country of southern Utah. Been pouring over topo maps of Canyonlands National Park, consulting hiking books and making plans with my two compatriots who will join me in the desert from San Francisco and Taos. And, of course, been brushing up on my Edward Abbey, to get in the proper spirit of the desert. To that end, I thought it's as good a time as any to post the second half of his "Freedom & Wilderness" readings -- I up'd the first half right here, along with some background info on these recordings.




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Jack Kerouac's "Poetry for the Beat Generation"



"A beautifully vivid set from Jack Kerouac -- one that has him reading his own music set to spare piano accompaniment by Steve Allen -- most of which was improvised for the set. The pairing of Kerouac and Allen seems an unlikely one, but it really works well here -- as Jack's quite relaxed in the studio, and really reads with a bit more feeling than usual -- really put at ease by Allen's surprisingly great piano lines, which never try to dominate, and mostly just tinkle lightly behind Kerouac's recitations."

--review from dustygrooves.com





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Edward Abbey : Freedom & Wilderness I



"The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws."
--Edward Abbey, 1927-1989



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