“Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private. ”
20 liner poets Chris Shearer, Leslie Berliant and yours truly are reading tonight at the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley, NY…home to Ginsberg et al.
“Cherry Valley has a long history as an artist and writer’s community. Willa Cather left New York City for the isolated village in 1911, writing O Pioneers! while there. Poet Allen Ginsberg bought a farm there in the 1960s, and the town became a haven and destination point for many of the major personalities of the Beat scene:
William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Herbert Huncke, Ray Bremser, Anne Waldman, Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Harry Smith, Mary Beach, Claude Pelieu and many others all spent time either living or visiting there.
Poet Charles Plymell still lives in Cherry Valley (and I heard he gave a nod of approval to my iPhoneography show)—he and his wife Pam ran Cherry Valley Editions from their home, publishing small editions of major writers. Jazz pianist Paul Bley and Jeff Palmer are residents of the small town, as is artist/writer Jack Walls, artists Richard Saba and Mark Mastroianni, film maker James Rasin, and National Book Award nominated novelist Dana Spiotta.
The transgender pioneer, actress and Andy Warhol Superstar Candy Darling is buried in the historic Cherry Valley Cemetery. A significant portion of the award winning feature length documentary film about her life, Beautiful Darling (2010), was shot in Cherry Valley. The photographer Ryan McGinley has staged several photo shoots in and around the village, and the artist Dash Snow shot one of his last 8mm pieces, “Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss”, there in late May 2009.”
Photo of Ginsberg’s farm…taken last summer.