Favourite poets from YouTube — Part 8: Beat Generation
So, as you all know, I am a bit of a Beat Generation nut… and a lot of people say “I don’t know much Beat stuff, where should I start?” Well, YouTube is not the greatest Beat resource, but there are some gems there. Here’s good old Allen with ‘Father Death Blues’ — see also America (music by Tom Waits), Howl (read by John Turturro and Allen Ginsberg), & A Supermarket in California (poem starts at about 1:28).
Here’s Bill Burroughs with ‘What Keeps Mankind Alive. There is a fair bit of Burroughs on YouTube… see also Words of Advice for Young People (try to ignore the terrible video montage!), When I Stopped Wanting To Be President, The Do-Rights and what?! William Burroughs advertising for Nike?!
I absolutely love Diane Di Prima and want her to be my crazy poet aunt. Here she is doing a few on ‘Lunch Poems.’ See also April Fool Birthday Poem For Grandpa and a sample from Coming to terms with impermanence.
Undoubtedly the weirdest-looking (and possibly just the weirdest) Beat, here’s Gregory Corso reading Bomb (and telling off the audience at 0:38!). See also Marriage (read by the wonderful Ian Dury), and a snippet of Corso: The Film.
Others: Not fully “a Beat,” but here’s a sweet visualisation of Frank O Hara’s ‘As Planned’ // Jack Kerouac reading from American Haiku and from one of his novels (I can’t work out which — anyone know?).
As always, tell me your favourite YouTube poems!