New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsPoetry Breaks



Poetry Breaks I, Allen Ginsberg

Alternative Title:
Allen Ginsberg

Copyright Date:
1988

Copyright Holder:
Leita Hagemann Luchetti and
WGBH Educational Foundation

Air Date:
1988-present

Program Number:
337

Artist:
Ginsberg, Allen

Extent:
1 videocassette of 1 (23 min.) : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) (23 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (23 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (23 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
4 videocassettes of 4 (Betacam SP) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
4 videocassettes of 4 (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Digital Betacam) (1:49 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Digital Betacam) (ca. 3 1/2 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.



Background:
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.

Scope:
Includes a 1" master, Betacam SP preservation master (of the 1" master), and VHS and 3/4" screening copies. Betacam SP preservation masters and VHS screening copies of the original footage have been created. Also included are two Digital Betacam tapes created in 1987, with remastered versions of two of the Ginsberg poems. "Poetry Breaks" documentation includes shot logs of source and master tapes, production notes, and correspondence between the producer and the poet.

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:
"Homework"
"A Typical Affair"
"My Alba, Morning Song"
"Humbomb"
During "Humbomb" Ginsberg plays Australian aborigine song sticks.
"Arguments"
"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"
"Sunset"
"After Dead Souls"
"Supermarket"
"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"
"Uptown"
"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."



Director:
Luchetti, Leita Hagemann

Producer:
Luchetti, Leita Hagemann

Coproducer:
New Television Workshop, WGBH

Performer:
Ginsberg, Allen

Subjects:
Poetry


Genre:
Readings

See Also:
Poetry Breaks Documentation





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