Tied in knots. Blog suffering. My most profuse of apologies.

But I’m untangling myself just long enough to bring you some choice audio. Brought to light by Jason Louv over at Dangerous Minds:

The Naropa University Archive Project is preserving and providing access to over 5000 hours of recordings made at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. The library was developed under the auspices of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (the university’s Department of Writing and Poetics) founded in 1974 by poets Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg. It contains readings, lectures, performances, seminars, panels and workshops conducted at Naropa by many of the leading figures of the U.S.literary avant-garde.

The collection represents several generations of artists who have contributed to aesthetic and cultural change in the postmodern era. The Naropa University Archive Project seeks to enhance appreciation and understanding of post-World War II American literature and its role in social change, cultural criticism, and the literary arts through widespread dissemination of the actual voices of the poets and writers of this period. Current interest in Oriental religions, environmentalism, political activism, ethnic studies, and women’s consciousness is directly indebted to the work of these New American Poets, writers and musicians.

Funding for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Save America’s Treasures, the GRAMMY Foundation, the Internet Archive, the Collaborative Digitization Program, and private donors. If this collection is important to you please help us preserve it with your donations.

There are mad metric tons of stuff to be found here. Interesting stuff. Stuff worthy of your time, if you have the time.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is up in this archive. If your at all interested in writing, Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg and the whole beat thing then this is a motherlode of psychotextural awesome right here. I’ve just spent over an hour listening to one recording, Burroughs talking at a Jack Kerouac conference. He starts off talking about Kerouac and writing in general and ends with a Q&A session that spreads over into the second part. You can barely hear the questions but the answers are always interesting. Here’s a rough contents list of the first part cribbed from a comment on the Internet Archive page.

1:00: A writer writes
5:00: K sets up WSB with a Trust Fund? No Burroughs millions?
8:00: Writing marks a man- any writing is totally revealing (if you know how to read).
13:00: What is a writer actually doing? Making the reader aware of what they know and doesn’t know he knows.
20:00: First version=best? Worked for K, not WSB
28:00: Comparison of Gatsby and OTR
31:00: Alcoholism and the writer (writing in a state of stress)
31:30: Do you use a word processor?
32:20: Seeing in images as opposed to words. How do you conjure up these images?
32:45: What the hell was THAT question? Love is a mixture between sex and liking.
32:30: Why didn’t you publish XXXXX?
34:00: Why are we seeing more of you lately?
34:30: Joyce/K influence?
35:00: K wsb influence direction?
35:40: Writer needs time?
37:00: Cutup process?

Anyway, have at it!

Part one:

part two:

Homepage of the archive


If you find anything amazingly awesome in the archive i’d love to hear about it!