Tag Archives: Athens

Remembering Alan Ansen

12 Nov

disorderly

On this day in 2006 we lost Alan Ansen.

Today we celebrate his life and work. Ansen, a graduate of Harvard, was secretary to none other than the great W. H. Auden, who had come to New York City in 1939. He hung out with Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs,  Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso, and is even written into their works. By the 1960s, he had moved to Greece, where he lived on Alopekis Street in Athens, and hung out with other expatriate poets such as James Merrill (who went on to get the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1977), Chester Kallman (one of Auden’s lovers), and Rachel Hadas (who went on to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship).

Ansen passed away in Athens at the age of eight-four, but leaves behind his poetry and prose. Check out:

I think reading someone’s work is one of the best way to celebrate their life. Do you have a favorite poem by Ansen?

Blues.Gr Interviewed Me about the Beats and Greece!

27 Nov

What mistakes of the Beat Generation would I most like to correct?

What role did Greek immigrants play in Jack Kerouac’s life?

How would I spend a day with Gregory Corso?

What does Greek philosophy have to do with Beat writing?

Am I a Beat??

Find out my answers at Blues.Gr!

Athens-based writer Michael Limnios has been interviewing people associated with the Beat Generation for Blues.Gr.  He has an impressive catalog of interviews, featuring such names as Amiri Baraka, Helen Weaver, Levi Asher, Dennis McNally, and so many other fascinating figures.  I don’t know how I ever got lucky enough to be even remotely associated with these people, but I’m honored.  Michael asks unique questions so the interviews touch on aspects of the so-called Beat Generation that aren’t always addressed.

Next time I’m in Greece, I’ll have to see if he’s available to sit down in the platea and chat about the Beats and jazz and rembetiko over a glass of ouzo!

Photographs from the Olympics in Greece

9 Aug

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t pass up going to the Olympics when they were held in Athens in 2004.  At last, the Olympic Games were back where they began!  The men’s and women’s shot put tournament were even held in Olympia, the original site of the Olympics.  The rest of the games were in Athens, which had been completely revamped and upgraded with insanely gorgeous stadiums.  Unfortunately, because of the slow rate of construction there was a lot of fuss in the media about whether the Greeks could get it done in time.  The condescending attitude seemed kind of ironic, considering the Greeks invented the tradition of the Olympics and preserved the ancient site.  Between that and it being the first Olympics since 9/11, there weren’t as many people there as expected.  It was too bad because the Olympic Village that they created especially for the 2004 Athens Olympics was one of the most gorgeous modern venues I’ve ever had the experience of being in.  My friend and I got great seats to our chosen event — men’s swimming 😉

 

Have you ever been to the Olympics?  Which sports would you most want to watch in person?