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Allen Ginsberg, The Naropa Sessions: Triadic Line

This is the last in a series of ten lectures given by Allen Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado, in the summer of 1975.

From color theory to geometry, the word “triadic” could be used to describe a great many different types of media and subjects. Throughout his poetry course, Allen Ginsberg endeavored to relate poetry to the other fields of arts, as well as the more analytic disciplines. In this final lecture, he brings it all together with music. He speaks about writing a poem, as if one were composing a score. He encourages his students to be mindful of how the create the poem in terms of distribution of words and lines. To that end, he wants them to take pleasure in it; to see and feel the breath stops in their work. The work of William Carlos Williams and Jack Kerouac are both used as examples and Ginsberg goes so far as encouraging his students to mimic their compositional efforts. He ends the course by playing a series of segments of Kerouac reading his work, the poet for whom Ginsberg's school at the Naropa Institute was named after.

The Naropa Institute was founded by Chögyam Trungpa, an exiled Tibetan tuku, in 1974. This liberal arts school initially offered MFA's in the visual arts, dance, theater, and poetry; as well as undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Buddhist Studies. It was founded with the intent of creating a dialog between the “world's wisdom traditions.” Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and John Cage were among the faculty, who together formed the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poets.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.