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Poetry Breaks I, Allen Ginsberg

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Allen Ginsberg was born in New Jersey on June 3, 1926. While studying law at Columbia University in New York, he met many of the people who would form the Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Neal Cassady. While in San Francisco, he published his first book of poems, the influential Howl and Other Poems in 1956, which helped spark the San Francisco Renaissance. Among his other books of poems were Reality Sandwiches in 1963, Planet News in 1969, The Fall of America in 1974 (which received the National Book Award) White Shroud in 1987, and Collected Poems 1947-85 in 1995. In 1974, Ginsberg helped found the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He was a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellow, and a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn College. He died in New York City on April 5, 1997 at the age of 70.

Allen Ginsberg introduces and reads his poems and performs "song poems" accompanied by guitarist Steven Taylor in various settings at his Manhattan apartment. The following poems were edited for broadcast and general distribution and appear on the master tapes with and without Poetry Breaks logo and copyright:

"A Typical Affair"
"My Alba, Morning Song"
During "Humbomb" Ginsberg plays Australian aborigine song sticks.
"I Am a Victim of Telephone"

Multiple takes of these poems appear on the source tapes of original footage. Additional poems and songs recorded on the original footage are as follow: "What's Going on in the World"
"After Dead Souls"
"Four Haikus"
"I Wrote This Last Night"
"After Yeats"
"Returning to the Country for a Brief Visit"
"Returning to the Country for a Brief Visit, Part IV"
"Aeres Rock"
"Lower East Side"
"Those Two"
"A Western Ballad" (with Steven Taylor)
"Europe, Who Knows?" (with Steven Taylor)
"New York Blues" (with Steven Taylor)
"Comeback Christmas" (with Steven Taylor)

The poems mastered in 1998 include:
"A Western Ballad" and "Homework," which was remastered for broadcast on the WNET series "Real New York."

Produced and directed by Leita Hagemann Luchetti.

"Poetry Breaks," conceived by Leita Hagemann Luchetti and co-produced by Luchetti and WGBH New Television Workshop, is an ongoing series of over 100 thirty-second to four-minute spots presenting internationally known poets reading their work on location. These have aired individually on WGBH and public television stations across the country. The Workshop collaborated with Luchetti until its closing in 1993, at which point the works became co-productions of Luchetti and the larger WGBH Foundation.

"Poetry Breaks II," produced from 1991-1994, began airing on WGBH-TV in 1994, and was also broadcast by dozens of other public television stations throughout the country starting in 1994. Between 1995 and 1997, three new poets were taped for Poetry Breaks III.
Oral interpretation of poetry, Poetry, Poetry reading
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