Thursday, September 30, 2010

Allen Ginsberg, Howl and me

I had two very brief encounters with Allen Ginsberg, so I'm really looking forward to seeing James Franco portray the Beat Generation poet in the movie Howl.

Despite the signature and address on the title page, that's not Ginsberg's personal copy of Howl, it's mine. I interviewed him, over the phone, in 1989, in advance of a lecture at Syracuse University.

I don't remember anything about it except that I was nervous and he was very easy to talk to, apologizing for ending our conversation because the composer Philip Glass had arrived and they were going to make some music.

Afterward, I went to Ginsburg's lecture and introduced myself. He autographed the copy of Howl that I'd bought at the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco and even dated it, which was neat.

He asked me to send him a copy of my article and for some reason, I told him to just write his address in the book. I thought it would be a street address, so I was a little disappointed when it turned out to be a post office box.


Sarah B. Roberts said...

"composer Philip Glass had arrived and they were going to make some music." GOD. Cool that you've shared.

Esther said...

Thanks. I have to get a copy of that interview so I can see what I wrote!