Passing the Torch: The Beat Generation and Velvet Underground in Paris

As part of my role as “Foreign Desk” of the Museum of American Poetics, I was asked to review two exhibits in Paris, July 2016. PASSING THE TORCH: The Beats and the Velvet Underground in Paris. In July 2016, on opposite sides of the city, Paris hosted two exhibits that began with Allen Ginsberg. At… Continue Reading »

A Book That Changed My Life: Gregory Corso’s “Gasoline” Athenaeum Book Store, Amsterdam, Holland 16 01 13

I was invited by the Literary Activities Committee of the Athenaeum Book Store in Amsterdam to speak last night for ten minutes and take questions on a book that had changed my life. This is a slightly cleaned-up version of the talk that I gave. Because spontaneous poetics was so important to Allen and the… Continue Reading »

For Many Voices blog: The Quality of Silence

The Quality of Silence In 1983, I was working as an assistant to the director of Naropa Institute’s first Summer Writing Program. One of founders of the poetry program there—Diane di Prima—was teaching that summer, and reports were coming in that she was refusing to “workshop” students’ poems. As lowest in the chain of command,… Continue Reading »

Interviewed by Kirpal Gordon, September 2014

Kirpal Gordon is the author of New York at Twilight; Round Earth, Open Sky; Go Ride the Music and Eros in Sanskrit with its companion CD, Speak-Spake-Spoke. Kirpal interviews artists and activists at http://giantstepspress.blogspot.com/, teaches college writing and ghostwrites nonfiction books. Visit www.KirpalG.com for more on his work and shows. KG: I want to ask… Continue Reading »

“The Only Time I’ve Ever Lost My Temper in the Studio”–for Many Voices

Every Friday, Sounds True sends out an e-mail called Weekly Wisdom. Each of these mailings includes a “Producer’s Pick,” where we get to highlight one of our titles. Recently it was a 2-CD program I recorded with Matthieu Ricard on his book, Happiness. Even seven years later, it’s still one of my favorite recording, and… Continue Reading »

Reflections on my Sixteenth Anniversary as a Producer for Sounds True, for Many Voices

Last week was my sixteenth anniversary of working for Sounds True. Anniversaries are a time of reflection for me. I like to step back and look at what I’m doing with my life. As I’ve mentioned before, I have two lives. In one, I’m a producer for Sounds True, and I used to work with… Continue Reading »

Religious Observance in Modern China and Tibet for “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #34

Religious Observance in Present-Day China and Tibet Having visited the Sera Monastery today with hundreds of monks debating in the courtyard, and seeing all the pilgrims arriving at the monasteries and temples, I wonder about the religious persecution I was led to expect. Xi says there are official and unofficial restrictions on what a religious… Continue Reading »

Sera Monastery & Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet for “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #33

A Tibetan Creation Myth On a bus into the mountains above Lhasa to visit the Buddhist Sera Monastery, I asked Tendzin if he was taught any creation myths as a child. Tendzin said when he was a boy living on a farm in the mountains—37 years ago—he was taught that in the beginning was the… Continue Reading »

Remembering Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, for Many Voices

While I’ve lived in Boulder since 1979, it has been home to at least two spiritual teachers whose work will outlast them. The first was Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Tibetan Buddhist who founded Boulder’s Naropa University and its local Vajradhatu community, who died in 1987. The other was Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, who is credited with… Continue Reading »

Lhasa, Tibet for “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #32

Lhasa, Tibet I was a Snake, slipping out from under a sleeping woman who smelled of lavender and smoke and coconut. She was tiny and I felt as large as a walrus beside her, both taking up too much space and not having enough room to get comfortable myself because it was a twin bed…. Continue Reading »