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Nova Convention 1978: The Third Mind

In this introductory segment to the restored radio series on the legendary 1978 Nova Convention, we hear interviews with organizer/poet John Giorno, followed by the uncut Nova Convention panel discussion unheard for decades. Moderator Les Levine masterfully guides panelists William S. Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary and Brion Gysin. Listen to them re-imagining science fiction and foreseeing a culture yet to come.

The Nova Convention was a three-day event, taking place in New York City on November 30, December 1 and December 2, 1978. Intended as a homage to William S. Burroughs, the “convention” included seminars, music performances, readings and more. Attending were an odd mixture of academics, publishers, writers, artists, punk rockers and counterculture disciples. The event had a small hitch. The organizers had announced Keith Richards’ attendance, which made the event a sellout. Richards’ last minute cancellation, however, gave the event an antagonistic oscillation between performer and audience.

The series was originally produced by Giorno Poetry Systems for WBAI radio. The 2013 restoration comes from John Giorno's private tapes and includes hours of previously unreleased material by participating artists including Burroughs, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Laurie Anderson and Julie Heyward, Frank Zappa, and others. The effort is to restore, as completely as possible, the entire three-day event for for broadcast by the Clocktower Gallery radio station.


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.