Category Archives: Books

DARK INK: An Anthology Reading

— Saturday — October 24, 2020

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have just lost a game in the World Series that will go down in their franchise’s history as far more stunning in its implausibility than KirK Gibson’s home run back in 1988. In this case, though, the tape loop will verge on infamy, as it involved a two-error sequence that was closer in quality to what one might see on a Little League field.

Fortunately, I had the pleasure of reading with a wonderful set of poets earlier in the afternoon to celebrate the Halloween season by revisiting our contributions to DARK INK, an anthology of poems “inspired by horror.” Edited by the indefatigable Eric Moraga, this collection seems even more lively than it did when it first appeared two years ago. If you need a book to provide a counterbalance to the colossal infarction of American democracy that is being addressed in the ICU of electoral politics, then this volume is the one to get by the end of the coming week. It will provide almost enough imaginative solace to keep the thought of the unbearable in historical perspective.

Here was this afternoon’s line-up:

Robin Axworthy
Laurel Ann Bogen
Amanda Bradley
Cathleen Calbert
Mike Cantin
Sarah ChristianScher
Scott Noon Creley
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Brian Fanelli
HanaLena Fennel
Jerry Garcia
Sonia Greenfield
Seth Halbeisen
Armine Iknadossian
Victor Infante
Rick Lupert
Daniel McGinn
R.S. Mengert
Bill Mohr
Mish (Eileen) Murphy
Robbi Nester
Terri Niccum
Alan Passman
Lee Rossi
Jennifer Lee Rossman
Beth Ruscio
Jason Schneiderman
Rob Sturma
Ben Trigg
Ellen Webre

Each of us read one poem. I chose to read “The Ghoul Convention,” which I wrote well over well over a decade ago in response to a WSP convention. (WSP stands for “White Supremacist Party,” a political organization that used to be known as the GOP.) The reading was recorded and will eventually be made available to watch online.


“The young ones can’t catch on. Stay calm,
even when confronted with the hilarious panic

of a half-dead corpse. After waiting all year,
don’t leave the picky eater picnic with any regrets.”

The old ones give each other shoulder rubs
while reading back issues of Ghoul Housekeeping.

Next year’s panels are announced: Topiary Management.
(“Even a ghoul must plant his garden.”)

Wraith of the year! Eidolon of the decade!
The world is not an ugly place, not yet.

No natural enemies, a voiceover recites.
A very young ghoul is digging holes in a huge field

too far from any city to be a place for mourning,
yet the bereft come here to be alone, or grouse.

“Ignominy,” an adolescent mutters. “Carnival music,”
a widow responds. “Casual acquaintances,”

their companions proclaim. “Whores for hire
in all but name.” “Depends on your definition

of virginity,” said a half-naked ghoul getting dressed
again. “I don’t like accidents,” the seduced insist.

“Unintentional carnage is so boring, so effete.”
“Magnanimous spite is the only motive I respect.”

Borrowing the sentiments of triumphant candidates,
the ghouls repay their debts with orphaned toys.

(This poem first appeared in SKIDROW PENTHOUSE, in 2011. My thanks again to its editors.)

Guest Post: Harley Lond — “What’s In a Name?”

Saturday, October 17, 2020

What’s In a Name?
by Harley Lond

In this age of Trumpistic double-speak and alternate facts, we need to take a closer look at our history and begin to understand how evil has come to be memorialized in our culture. The vestiges of racism, slavery and corruption need to be eradicated; one step in that direction has already begun: the purging of overtly racist artifacts. Confederate flags are not appropriate to display in public; Confederate and racist monuments should be taken down (General Lee); some names need to be changed (Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians); some products need to be rebranded (Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Eskimo Pie).

But let’s be careful how far we take this. Washington Post and MSNBC columnist Eugene Robinson recently asked: “What about non-Confederate historical figures who were white supremacists? If every statue of a racist were taken down, we’d mostly have empty pediments and plinths. It should depend on the person, the context and the memorial itself.”

Indeed, Woodrow Wilson’s name has been removed from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs and Wilson College because he was a segregationist; President Ulysses S. Grant and lyricist Francis Scott Key’s statues were toppled in SF’s Golden Gate Park (both were slave holders). Locally, Orange County has decided to rename John Wayne Airport because the actor had made racist comments in several interviews. What are the contexts here? Does this mean Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, George Washington, FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ and Richard Nixon are waiting in the wings?

Robinson again: “There is an obvious difference between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who founded our union, and, say, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson, who tried to destroy it. The fact that [they] owned slaves should temper our admiration for them but not erase it entirely.” I kind of think that sentiment goes for Wilson, Grant, Key, and even John Wayne. If you disagree, then there’s still more to do, right here in Los Angeles. The history of our city is one of oil, land and water scandals, of genocide and segregation. Maybe we should reconsider some of our local names and make some changes. And let’s not stop at racism.

The growth of California, particularly the southern portion, was pushed along by slavery. The Franciscan missions were built on the backs of the Indians, who were beaten and slaughtered by the Spanish. In 1769, Father Junipero Serra founded California’s first missions by implementing a near-genocidal policy. With the help of Spain’s soldiers, the Indians were brought to the sites of the missions and, once there, they became slaves, directed by the friars. A side note: Serra was instrumental in bringing the Spanish Inquisition to the New World. For doing God’s work, Pope Francis canonized him in 2015. Activists have toppled his statues, but that’s not enough. Anything having to do with Serra and Mission culture needs to be reevaluated.

Until developer Abbot Kinney created Venice in 1905, he crusaded for Anglo Saxon racial purity through eugenics. He also demeaned women, Chinese, Jews, etc — but, for some reason, changed his mind in later years (probably for economic reasons while he was building his “Venice of America”). Because of this disdain for minorities, Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice should have its name changed.
Edward L. Doheny of Pan American Petroleum and Transport Company bribed U.S. Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall to get oil leases without competitive bidding; this was part of the infamous Teapot Dome Scandal (1921-23). Fall went to prison; Doheny has a street, a mansion, libraries and several other buildings named after him. The street and these buildings should have their names changed.

The Chandlers (the Los Angeles Times dynasty), Henry Huntington (Southern Pacific Railroad)), Isaias W. Hellman (Wells Fargo) and other prominent LA tycoons, joined in “syndicates” to monopolize development and subdivisions of Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley in the 1900s-1920s. The San Fernando valley was indeed ripe for development, but to turn it into a boom area it needed water. Under the pretext of bringing needed water to LA, Frederick Eaton (LA’s Mayor) and William Mulholland (head of the Los Angeles Water Dept.) sold the city on building an aqueduct from the Owens Valley — in eastern California — to LA proper. They created a false drought by dumping water from Los Angeles reservoirs into the sewers, and supported the “drought” by scare articles in the Los Angeles Times. LA acquired the Owens Valley water rights in a deceitful way, forcing prices down and pitting neighbors against one another. There was violence on both sides of these “Water Wars” (1905-1928) — some Owens Valley farmers were fond of dynamite — but in the end, LA won. Meanwhile, the aforementioned syndicates, with secret inside information from Eaton, connived to buy land in the San Fernando Valley at incredibly low prices. Unknown to the public, the water from the aqueduct would be used to irrigate the San Fernando Valley, allowing for unbridled development and filling the syndicates’ coffers with money. The Owens Lake was drained, and the once bountiful farming paradise became a desert — to this day. Should we change the names of any buildings, streets or charities bearing the names Chandler, Huntington, Mulholland or Hellman?

The city of Lakewood, developed by Mark Taper and his partners in the early 1950s, was funded by FHA loans with the stipulation that African Americans be barred. The rules stated that “incompatible racial elements” would disqualify builders from federally backed loans. Additionally, property deeds were required to prohibit resale to African Americans. Because of Taper’s complicity in this implicit act of segregation, the Mark Taper Forum should have its name changed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I know there’s many, many LA racists, scoundrels and crooks I’ve missed who have had buildings and streets named after them. What do you think?

— Harley W. Lond

Bio Note:
1960s: Founded Santa Monica College Students for a Democratic Society; organized and took part in many anti-Vietnam war mobilizations, including the infamous June 1967 10,000 strong anti-war march that turned into a bloody police riot in front of the Century City Hotel; tuned in, turned on, dropped out; hung-out in San Francisco during the Summer of Love.

1970s: Bohemian travels up and down the West Coast; administrative director of the Century City Educational Arts Project/Burbage Theatre; editor-publisher of InterMedia Magazine; one of the founders of Literary Publishers of Southern California; short story published in “Momentum” magazine.

1980s: Editor of movie magazine Boxoffice.

1990s/2000s: Copy editor, managing editor of The Hollywood Reporter; founded OnVideo home entertainment website.

2010s: West Coast Editor AOL’s Moviefone Blog; copy editor Writers Guild of America’s Written By; various other freelance editing gigs; founded, The Adventures of Headless Barbie and The Word Garage websites. A grandfather.

“Attachment”: I cannot unlearn it

Saturday, October 17, 2020

As some of my readers may remember, my first wife Cathay Gleeson died a little over four months ago. Before she left Los Angeles, she gave me several items she wasn’t taking with her. One of them was a statue of Buddha, which Linda and I placed in our garden by the side of the house. Apparently, the shrubbery, potted plants, and bamboo wasn’t enough to safeguard it from the predations of the numerous thieves that have helped themselves to anything they want that they see near our residence. Since we rent, we aren’t allowed to build a fence of any kind, and we are open 24/7 to anyone’s prowling.

About a week ago, this statue was stolen. If I had bought it, I would be irritated, but could let it go. Instead, it was a final gift from someone who was a significant part of my life. The pang lingers, and lingers, and lingers.

Photograph; watercolor; and drawing by Linda Fry (c) 2020.

Louise Gluck Got the Nobel Prize? You’re Kidding, Right?

October 11, 2020

When I heard Louise Gluck got the Nobel Prize, I sighed; there goes any chance of someone winning it who deserves it far more than she does. For example, Rae Armantrout. Amy Gerstler. Juan Felipe Herrera, Lyn Hejinian, Dorianne Laux, Alicia Ostriker, David St. John.

On the other hand, one can easily imagine Jorie Graham uttering an expletive upon hearing the news that Gluck won. The odds against her winning sometime in the next ten to 12 years just tripled. Maybe quadrupled. Not that Graham deserves it any more than Gluck.

James Tate was born the same year that Gluck was born. So was Sam Shepard. You’re telling me that if they were still alive, Gluck would still get the award. Larry Levis was born a few years after Gluck, and if he were still alive, the total heft of his work would be astonishing. Certainly worth of making the short list.

But then Derek Walcott got the award and I admire his work even less than the average detractor of Bob Dylan. There’s no figuring it out.

When this kind of announcement is made, I like to call upon the larger context of international cultural work to keep things in perspective and not get too distraught. Fortunately, such a context proved to be immediately available: my friend Paul Vangelisti by chance was working on a project that enabled him to share this list of contributors to INVISIBLE CITY with me the other day. John McBride, it should be mentioned, was Paul’s co-editor. For any young poet looking for a reading list that is different from the usual MFA literary real estate template, you need look no further. Get thee to a library.

“Why go on, without such a family.” — Holly Prado

Invisible City (1971-1982)


Antonin Artaud
Daniel Biga
Charles Baudelaire
Roland Barthes
Jean Baudrillard
Lucien Blaga
Julien Blaine
Alain Bosquet
Rene Char
Paul Eluard
Jean Follain
Rene Daumal
Mohammed Dib
Rene Depestre
Robert Desnos
Edmund Jabbes
Jules Laforgue
Stephane Mallarme
Henri Michaux
Jacques Roubaud
Jean Senac
Jules Supervielle
Tristan Tzara


Walter Benjamin
Gerlad Bisinger
Johannes Bobrowski
Bertolt Brecht
Paul Celan
Gunter Eich
Hans Magnus Enzenberger
Gunter Bruno Fuchs
Sarah Kirsch
Karl Krolow
Reiner Kunze
Christoph Meckel
Ernst Meister
Heiner Muller
Christa Reinig
Rainer Maria Rilke
Helmut Maria Soik


Nanni Ballestrini
Dino Campana
Christina Campo
Corrado Costa
Galvano Della Volpe
Franco Fortini
Milli Graffi
Antonio Gramsci
Margherita Guidacci
Giulia Niccolai
Elio Pagliarani
Aldo Palazzeschi
Cesare Pavese
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Antonio Porta
Umberto Saba
Vittorio Sereni
Adriano Spatola
Cesare Vivaldi


Rafael Alberti
Vicente Aleixandre
Reuben Astudillo
Carlos Busono
Ernesto Cardenal
Luis Cernuda
Julio Cortazar
Nicholas Guillen
Miguel Hernandez
Vicente Huidobro
Federico Garcia Lorca
Antonio Machado
Jose de Jesus Martinez
Pablo Neruda
Blas de Otero
Octavio Paz
Aldo Pellegrini
Roberto Retamar
Carlos de Rokha
Cesar Vallejo


Ait Djafer
Fayad Jamis


Gerrit Achterberg
Paul ten Hoppen
Pierre Kemp
Jan Slauerhoff
Ellen Warmond


Yannis Ritsos
Ersi Sotiropoulou


Attila Jozsef
Miklos Radnoti


Miron Bialoszewski
Edward Balcerzan
Stanislaw Baranczak
Stanislaw Grochowiak
Jerzy Harasymowicz
Zbigniew Herbert
Irene Iredynski
Tymoteuz Karpowicz
Julian Kornhauser
Czeslaw Kuriata
Ewa Lipska
Tadeusz Nowak
Halina Poswiatowska
Tadeusz Rozewicz
Edward Stachura
Wislawa Szymborska
Rafal Wojaczek


Manuel Bandeira
Fernando Pessoa


Vladimir Bachev
Valery Bryuosov
Eugene Evtouchenko
Velemir Khlebnikov


Tom Ahern
Bruce Andrews
John Ashbery
Amiri Baraka
Charles Bernstein
Charles Bukowski
Alvaro Cardona-Hine
Bob Cobbing
Robert Crosson
Victor Hernandez Cruz
Ray DiPalma
Larry Eigner
Clayton Eshelman
Brion Gysin
Leland Hickman
Jack Hirschman
Collette Inez
Thomas Johnson
Yusef Komunyakaa
Marina LaPalma
Samuel Menashe
Bill Mohr
Stuart Z. Perkoff
Bern Porter
Jed Rasula
Tom Raworth
Kenneth Rexroth
Leslie Scalapino
Ntozake Shange
Archie Shepp
Gilbert Sorrentino
Jack Spicer
John Thomas
Rosmarie Waldrop
C.D. Wright
John Yau

Gen V (Awry): Corporate Vaccines and the Self-Innoculation of Wall Street

Sunday, October 11, 2020

“Gen V” is a reference to the use of alphabetical letters to suggest a generation cluster in a general population (gen X; gen Y). In this case, Gen V also refers to all of the generations being subject to a new technological “thought experiment.”

I would like to call your attention to a recent explanation of what is being done to develop a vaccine against covid-19:

“Moderna’s vaccine uses genetic material from the virus, known as mRNA, to prompt cells in the body to make a fragment of the virus that will train the immune system to fight off an infection.
The vaccine is now in a Phase 3 study that enrolled more than 25,000 of its intended 30,000 volunteers …. A total of 151 cases — spread between the vaccine and placebo groups — will be enough to determine whether the vaccine is 60 percent effective. The Food and Drug Administration has set the bar at 50 percent.”

Could we hit the pause button here?

This amounts to a trial run for genetically established herd immunity.


This is not a vaccine experiment.

This is a genetic experiment.

And we will be the lucky ones to be its test subjects on a mass scale.

Were we asked which kind of approach should be used to develop a vaccine?


Instead, companies driven by an insatiable desire for money, wealth, and technological power are making the decision without the slightest input from us.

I am wondering, in fact, if there will be any explanatory literature provided to people before they take the vaccine. When the choice was made to use a genetic approach, was that done because the effectiveness of the vaccine would be higher? What has been the percentage of effectiveness in past vaccines? Was “the bar” for vaccine effectiveness for smallpox and polio set at 60 percent? Or 50 percent?

There’s something here that seems “off.”

At what point, in fact, is 60 percent immunity an acceptable figure?

Given that seniors and communities of color are the ones most in danger, how many tens of thousands will die because of this low effectiveness figure? I suppose those who die in 2022 from the lingering remnants of the covid-19 will be categorized as having “underlying conditions,” but will anybody stop to consider the “underlying conditions” of the corporate process that did not result in a truly efficacious vaccine with a high success rate?

There is another “underlying condition” at work, too. Our society is only too willing to extermineate the elderly. “Thank you for your lifetime of hard work. Now fuck off. You heard me, you old creep- — die!”

But the most pernicious “underlying condition” is the untrammeled right of corporations to impose their experiment on us without our informed consent.

Do I trust science? As a process, yes.

Do I trust every scientifically developed product? Ask the polar ice cap if it trusts the oil industry.

I want to emphasize that I am not against vaccines. I am against corporations that inoculate themselves from any critique, however, and who will no doubt deny responsibility and liability for any deleterious outcome of the vaccine in the decades to come.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

I just went to the website that allows individuals to track their votes. Both Linda and I are happy to report that our ballots have been received by the County Registrar. We have no idea of whether 70,000,000 other Americans will join us in selecting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our country’s new leaders, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that many join us. We certainly hope so. Between the addition of new voters (individuals who have turned 18 in the past four years), indifferent voters who sat out the last election, and defectors from Trump’s camp, I wouldn’t be surprised if Biden and Harris end up with somewhere around 72,000,000 million total votes.

Furthermore, I predict that Donald J. Trump will receive less than 60,000,000 votes. In fact, I would be willing to wager that fewer people will vote for Trump in 2020 than voted for John McCain in 2008, despite the fact that there are more than 20,000,000 more eligible voters this year. Trump will be lucky to get 58,780,000 votes.

On a local level, we ended up voting for Robert Fox for the Long Beach City Council. He is the only candidate who seems to care whether Long Beach ever addresses the parking issues in our district. The retiring councilperson never caught on that it is parking that needs to be addressed, as well as other quality of life issues (such as Long Beach’s notoriously polluted air). The mayor of Long Beach, in backing the other candidate (Cindy Allen) only makes it clear to me that he has lost touch with the people who voted him into office.

And we also voted with our shovel yesterday. The city sent out workers a few weeks ago to cut down a dead tree in front of the house we rent (on the city property, between the sidewalk and the street curb), but of course the city’s current budget has nothing allocated for replacement trees. Fortunately, Jenna, a gracious neightbor across the street, donated a sapling that a neighbor down the street had given her and we dug a hole and planted it.

Finally, Linda and I drove over the new bridge yesterday afternoon to San Pedro. After two years of using a zig-zag side route that was marked by shifting concrete barriers like a slalom route on asphalt and concrete, we finally have a quick smooth ride over a very lovely cable-stayed bridge. Hart Crane would love it.

Finally, as a way to calm yourselves while waiting out the next four weeks for votes to be tabulated, here are some film recommendations:

LITTLE FUGITIVE (black and white, 1953, on DVD, a great film. Nominated for three Academy Awards. I’d never heard of it, and good friends who know film say they haven’t heard ot it either. BUT IT’S GREAT. A little slow at the start, but once the younger brother gets to Coney Island, watch ou!. I’m willing to bet that the majority of people who have read my blog this blog the past seven years have not seen this film.

THE GARDEN — documentary on the multicultural squabbles of LA’s inner city

NEBRASKA — the best film script influenced by Sam Shepard. If you like TRUE WEST, you will love this film. In fact, you will recognize a detail from TRUE WEST that is so derivative that the screenwriter/director should have acknowledged it in the film credits.

THE DIVINE ORDER: the struggle of Swiss women to get the vote in 1971.

FINDING YOUR FEET: How rare and lovely it was to see a film about old people falling in love. Mainstream cinema, but does it always have to edgy and avant-garde?

POST-SCRIPT: Bonus Film Recommendation #6: “THE OCTOPUS TEACHER” — one of the final scenes in this film is so tender and full of mutual compassion that it’s closer to a moment of enlightenment than I have approached in a long, long time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Ballot Issued: 10/5/2020

*Received and Verified by the Registrar: 10/9/2020

*Results displaying a date here indicate your Vote by Mail ballot was received, verified and counted by the Registrar. If your Vote by Mail status returns “Not yet received”, then your Vote by Mail ballot is still being processed. Counting of the Vote by Mail ballots continues 30 days after Election Day.


Ballot Issued: 10/5/2020

*Received and Verified by the Registrar: 10/9/2020

*Results displaying a date here indicate your Vote by Mail ballot was received, verified and counted by the Registrar. If your Vote by Mail status returns “Not yet received”, then your Vote by Mail ballot is still being processed. Counting of the Vote by Mail ballots continues 30 days after Election Day.

Reliquaries: The Sculpture of Ted Waltz

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Oranges/Sardines was one of the most important galleries in DTLA a couple of decades ago. It was the first place I ever encountered the sculpture of Mineko Grimmer, for instance. Its owners were a pair of artists themselves, Ted Waltz and Carol Colin; both have continued to mature as artists in the years since the gallery closed up. It still remains present as a outlet, however, and its most recent iteration is the launching of an independent press. The first title is a quietly gorgeous book of photographs of Ted Waltz’s sculptures, which enjoin one of the most familiar objects in human society — the chair — with mixed-media assemblages, along with an introductory essay by William Benton, who is both a poet and an art critic.

While the book is available on Amazon, you can also order it directly from:

Oranges/Sardines Press
5400 Monte Vista
Los Angeles, CA 90042-3323

“The pieces are stoically themselves, recalcitrant in their particularity,” Benton ascertains slightly past the half-way point of his essay, and he doubles down in the next paragraph: “Things are unremittingly themselves and at the same time, potentially, their extensions as metaphor.” In a way that I hope would be regarded as a friendly amendment, I would disagree with Benton and say that the objects abutting each other in Waltz’s sculptures have enlisted themselves as representational instigations of our self-defined boundaries. They knew us before we knew them; that we subsequently linger as we move on is the surprising gift of Waltz’s sculptures. In addition, I would argue that the chairs themselves, in supporting Waltz’s mixed-media assemblages, are working as a Venn diagram: we ourselves, who are the usual occupants, are represented by a rendition of the images we carry inside us as we anticipate sitting down in a chair to await an incremental transport elsewhere.

While it would be best to see them in a full-sized room, the next best acquaintance is through this book, and I hope you can get a copy soon.

“The lack of recognition that most artists live and die with has, in Waltz’s work, the feel almost of a formal intention. In a way, the power of Waltz’s sculptures resides in the fact that they might just as well not have been made. …. Waltz, in that regard, works like a poet.”

Indeed. I could not sum it up much better, except to note that Waltz works like a lyrical poet of the displacement of absurdity: Things as they are / transmogrify upon the peculiar chair.

Beat Scholars’ Wish List, 2020

2020 issue of JOURNAL OF BEAT STUDIES, edited by Nancy M. Grace and Ronna Johnson
Published by Pace University Press

I received the latest issue of JBS the other day, and thought my readers would enjoy a peek at some of the comments made by scholars in the field. I will post additional comments from the contributors to this survey in the days ahead, as the chance to take more notes presents itself. As many of you know, I am teaching online at CSULB right now, and the experience is closer to being private tutoring of several dozen students than college classroom instruction.

I would like to call special attention to a recent book by the scholar who is listed first in the survey’s alphabetical order. Cambridge University Press published THE BEATS: A LITERARY HISTORY this past April, and I would urge all of us to ask the libraries we make use of to order a copy of Steven Belletto’s book, which devotes a substantial attention to women Beat writers such as ruth weiss, Babara Moraff, Lenore Kandel, Joanne Kyger, and Elise Cowen.

In my comments in this issue, I urge scholars to give additional attention to post-Beat writers, especially women. Here, for instance, as an example of the texts that await scholars is a flyer from an event held in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. “That Which Takes Flight” is a short film that Doug Knott made of a poem by Laurel Ann Bogen. The inked figure at the top of the flyer is by the artist Linda Fry, whose work also appears in the film.

*. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *

JOURNAL OF BEAT STUDIES – “State-of-the-Field Survey of Beat Studies Scholars”:

Steven Belletto – Professor of English, Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania
Author of The Beats: A Literary History

Robert Bennett
Professor of English, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

David Stephen Calonne
Lecturer, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Mary Paniccia Cadden
Professor of English, Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Jean-Christophe Cloutier
Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Leslie Stewart Curtis
Professor of Art History, John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio

Terence Diggory
“There is more work to be done on the relation between acknowledged Beats and writers such as …. Ted Berrigan in the New York School. Berrigan might provide a fresh approach to Philip Whalen, a canonical Beat wirter who was a major influence on Berrigan and who deserves more critical attention than he has recently received. …. Beat Studies can afford to ask what has been neglected within the “old” cfanon. What about Lawrence Ferlinghetti? Are we willing to take him seriously as a writer of as well as a publisher and advocate?”

Jane Falk,
Lecturer, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

Amy Friedman
Associate Professor of English, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“I will remain a committed reader of work on women writers of the Beat generation.”

Deborah Geis
Professor of English, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana

Timothy Gray
Professor of English, City University of New York, Staten Island, New York

Oliver Harris
Professor of English, University of Keele, Keele, Great Britain

Allen Hibbard
Professor of English, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The anthology Cutting Up the Century, edited by Joan Hawkins and Henry Aleander Wermer-Colan (2019), is a truly amazing collection of photos, text, and essays.

Tim Hunt
Professor of English (emerius), Illinois State university, Normal, Illinois

Eric Keenaghan
Associate Professor of English, Stat3e university of New York, Albany, New York

Professor A. Robert Lee
Nihon University, Tokyo (retired), Murica Spain

Hassan Melehy
Professor of French, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

William Mohr
Professor of English, California State University, Long Beach

Erik Mortenson
Writing Center Consultant and Literary Scholar, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, Michigan
“We have done a good job chronicling those writers and artists immediately influenced by the Beats. But what about those includenced by the Beats today? What is the Beat legacy going forward? Many Beats saw their work as not just literature, but as a blueprint for social action. Are Beat texts still viable in this sense and, if so, how so, by whom, and under what conditions?”

Darin Pradittasannee
Associae Professor of English, Chulalongkorn University, Bankgok, Thailand

Roseanne Quinn
Instructor, De Anza College, San Francisco, California

Elena Rogalle
Doctoral candidate, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
“(W)hat I find lacking on syllabi (of Beat literature) ae the women writers — despite the resurrection and attention paid to their work over the last twenty years. This absence creates a hole in the history of the Beat Generation as well as American history. … In my research for my dissertation at the University of Central Florida, I am with application to develop a digital bibliography to make searching for and finding women Beat texts more readily available.”

Davin Schneiderman
Professor of English and Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois

John Shapcott
Honorary Research Fellow at Keele University, Keele, Great Britain

Jennie Skerl
Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (retired),
West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Katharine Streip
Associate Professor of English, Concorida University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Tony Trigilio
Professor of English, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illijois

Simon Warner
Visiting Research Fellow, School of Music, University of Leeds
Leeds, Great Britain

Eileen Aronson Ireland — Two Poetry Videos


Eileen Aronson Ireland reads the following poems from her book, which has just been published by IF SF Publishing, and is available from



Some Poems

Glass Doors

Tattoo Man

Poet and the Muse


The Fall of Paris, 1940

Vietnam Wall


I Got a Man Jazz




You Resound

The 1960 Massacre at Sharpeville, South Africa

Jerusalem Duet


War the Ironies

Spencer (1998-2014)


It Gets Harder to Hear Chimes


The Surfer Knows

Towards Satori


Election Song: “Low Hangin’ Fruit”


You never went to college, but worked all day
Now you’re out of work and someone’s got to pay
You wonder what it is that’s the key attribute
It must be the good genes of low hangin’ fruit.

What did you ever do to bring disrepute
to a country you love and always salute
So what if your facts never quite compute
Trust local coroners in a gun rights dispute

Kneeling on a neck until a man suffocates
Is justice foretold to those who would loot
Can’t help but admire a hero who hates
It must be the good genes of low hangin’ fruit

Low hangin’ fruit, low hangin’ fruit
The joy of servitude no liberal can refute
No need to look around for a butter knife
The best jam comes from low hangin’ fruit

You act so free cuz you won’t wear a mask
The virus looks at you as just another task
No true believer hesitates to pray
An alternative universe is not far away

Applaud the politicians who race to affirm
Your patriotic happiness and its pursuit
Wear your born-again best, make protestors squirm
You’re not deplorable, you’re low hangin’ fruit

I don’t blame you for feeling aggrieved
Who wants to be regarded as not astute
His rallies always leave you feeling relieved
You’re not deplorable, you’re low hangin’ fruit!

Low hangin’ fruit, low hangin’ fruit
The joy of servitude no liberal can refute
No need to look around for a butter knife
The best jam comes from low hangin’ fruit

— September 22-23, 2020
Long Beach, CA

Graphic by Harley Lond (2020)