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Ruas Historic Archives Project

SAVE ALLEN GINSBERG! We are raising funds to digitize and preserve dozens of deteriorating recordings made by legendary radio producer and scholar Charles Ruas. In collaboration with archives and libraries and, with Ruas' counsel, we are finding incredible stuff from Burroughs and Borges to Williams and Wilson. Visit our Contribute page to support this effort.


(November 24, 2010) AIR, Art International Radio and the Clocktower Gallery are proud to announce that the Historic Archives of Charles Ruas--hundreds of recordings of key literary and artistic figures--will be preserved and made available free to the public through AIR’s online radio station and cultural archive,

Since the early 1970s Charles Ruas has been a central figure in the American cultural landscape as the inaugural Director of the Drama and Literature Department at WBAI-FM New York City and the former host and producer of the influential radio programs Conversations with Writers with guests including Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Audio Experimental Theater with performers including Meredith Monk and Yvonne Rainer, Dial a Poem with poets including Jack Spicer and Gary Snyder, and The Words of Our Fathers, an oral history radio program with Studs Terkel, just to name a few. However, the majority of these recordings have deteriorated over time on their original cassette and reel-to-reel tapes, and now require emergency intervention or they will be lost forever.

Through agreements with Charles Ruas, the Pacifica Radio Archives, Columbia University, and Yale University where these artifacts are stored, AIR will oversee the digital preservation and cataloging of over three hundred of these rare and remarkable radio programs. The restored shows will be universally accessible online through AIR’s cultural archive at

The AIR Board of Directors and generous donors have made this initiative possible. The public is invited to participate in the fundraising campaign online. A $30 donation secures the preservation of a single historic program. Visit the Contribute page for details.

About Charles Ruas: Born in Tientsin, China, Ruas is an American author and scholar, legendary friend and interviewer of artists of all stripes, literary and art critic, and translator. A graduate of Princeton University (MA 1963, PhD 1970), Ruas was a Fulbright Scholar at the Sorbonne (1963–64). He is a specialist in French, English, and Comparative Literature, which he has taught at universities in the United States, France, and China. He is a frequent contributor to ArtNews and Art In America.


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.