[NetBehaviour] Beats at Naropa

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Feb 24 16:54:48 CET 2010

Beats at Naropa

Anthology edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright.

Amassed from the riches of the Naropa University audio archives, this 
collection offers an exciting new look at the Beats—whose influence 
lives on in the art and politics of our time. In these conversational 
talks and interviews readers are introduced to the hard truths behind 
being a Beat woman, the haunting accuracy of William Burroughs's 
world-view, the passion and energy of Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, 
Jack Kerouac's innovative musicality, Diane di Prima's foray into small 
press publishing, Michael McClure's account of the famous first reading 
of “Howl,” and, most of all, the inspirations behind America's most 
provocative and prescient thinkers.

The text below about 'Beats at Naropa' was written by Socialfiction.

"The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics was founded by Allen 
Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at the Naropa Institute for Buddhism in 1974. 
This school was a fascinating experiment in which middle-aged media star 
poets (and their unknown friends) sought to create a 
self-institutionalized community for radical politics, experimental 
lifestyles, poetry and Buddhism. It is still going but without the lure 
of the notorious and famous (they all died) but I can fully recommend 
the lecture archive which includes Burroughs, Snyder, Hakim Bey and many 
others. The Beats at Naropa is a genuinely worthwhile small press 
attempt to document the spirit of the good years. All pieces are 
exceptional and it gives you a good insight into the way avant-garde 
movements operated and organized across vast distances long before the 
net. My favourite piece is a hilarious discussion in which Burroughs 
holds his own against the Rinpoche, the Lama who founded Naropa. My only 
complaint is that this books reads more like a pamphlet than a book, 
more a snack than a meal. It is not definitive but it could have been 
with a few more texts and better background."

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