When beginning to learn about Ted Berrigan, one thing that stands out—alongside his brilliance as a writer—is how well–loved he was among the poetic community. In particular, Berrigan’s presence was highly influential and nourishing to both the St. Mark’s Poetry Project and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa in their formative years. And though his death in 1983 was a great loss to these communities, and to the world of poetry at large, we’re fortunate to have lots of archival material to ensure Berrigan’s pedagogical performance and conversational voice remains in this world alongside his many volumes of published literary works.
The seven-minute clip presented here includes excerpts from a reading and a lecture given at Naropa in the years 1975 and 1976, respectively. In both these settings, Berrigan’s warmth and candor evokes a sense of camaraderie—or even family. You may note Berrigan’s dedication of the poem “3 Pages” to Jack Collom—another beloved community member, who we have lost recently—as well as the following line from beyond the grave:
“Have faith, old brother, and I’ll be there when you need me.”
We hope you enjoy, and in case you’d like to listen to the full recordings (recommended!), we’re providing those links below:
This Naropa Archive Nugget was brought to you by one of our fabulous graduate editors, Travis Newbill. The Bombay Gin editorial staff is working hard to bring you more fascinating Naropian historical tidbits, straight from our vast archives. Keep checking for more Nuggets, and learn more about the yesteryears of our one-of-a-kind institution and literary journal.