The Great Naropa Poetry Wars, by Tom Clark

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: The Great Naropa Poetry Wars, by Tom Clark

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:23 am

The Big Payoff

The National Endowment for the Arts, according to its letterhead "a federal agency advised by the National Council on the Arts," announced the results of its most recent two-year fellowship sweepstakes in early November, 1979. The following writers, all of whom are presently or have in the past been salaried staff instructors or "core faculty" members of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute (and who therefore are at least implicit proponents of what Allen Ginsberg has called the "experiment in monarchy" of Chogyam Trungpa) received federal grants of $10,000:

Allen Ginsberg
Peter Orlovsky
Anne Waldman
Michael Brownstein
Larry Fagin
Richard Gallup
Ted Berrigan
Alice Notley Berrigan
Lewis Warsh
Bernadette Mayer Warsh
Diane Di Prima
Bobbie L. Creeley
Carl Rakosi
Bill Berkson
Tom Veitch


The Literature Advisory Panel which participated in the 1979 fellowship recommendation process included Ron Padgett, a former Naropa poetics instructor. ("The luck was that Ron was on the board, for them," commented Steve Katz, another member of the Panel).

It was suggested by Tom Clark to David Wilk, Literature Program Director of the NEA, that the awarding of $150,000 in fellowships to one small, identifiable group of writers amounts to the wholesale federal subsidy of an avowedly anti-democratic literary movement.

"Personally, I'm upset about it," Wilk responded, "but publicly I can't say a word. I can't disagree with what you're saying about where the money went; all I can tell you is that I had no inkling that this could happen. I'm just an administrator. It's out of my control."
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Re: The Great Naropa Poetry Wars, by Tom Clark

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:26 am

THE PARTY / A CHRONOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON A CONFRONTATION AT A BUDDHIST SEMINARY, prepared and written by members of the Investigative Poetry Group under the direction of Ed Sanders, investigative coordinator, will be available in February, 1980 from:

POETRY, CRIME & CULTURE PRESS
Box 729
WOODSTOCK, N.Y. 12498
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