Yesterday, avant-garde cinema legend Jonas Mekas posted remarkable archival footage of Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’hara, Amiri Baraka (who still went by Leroi Jones), and Ray Bremser reading together in 1959. The reading, which took place at the Living Theater in New York City, was a benefit for Yugen magazine. No audio was recorded at the event, but Mekas added audio (recorded in 1960) of Ginsberg reading “Sunflower Sutra.”
Being able to watch these masters goof around, smoke cigarettes, and share their work with each other is a treasure. It is especially astonishing to see O’Hara, as very few known videos of the definitive New York School poet exist today.