Sunday, July 5, 2009

Harold Norse Memorial Reading: Monday, July 20, Cornelia St. Cafe

A memorial reading and poets’ tribute will celebrate the life of writer Harold Norse (who died June 8, 2009), at 6 p.m., Monday, July 20 at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village.

The reading is co-curated by poet and Beat scholars Valery Oisteanu and Kat Georges. The line up of scheduled readers is made up of Norse’s friends, colleagues and fans including: Ira Cohen, Max Blagg, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Steve Dalachinsky, Shelley Miller, Angelo Verga, Tom Walker, George Wallace and others.

Born 1916, in New York City, Norse earned degrees at Brooklyn College and NYU, before becoming--at age 22 in 1939--a member of W. H. Auden's inner circle. William Carlos Williams called him “the best poet of your generation.” Norse lived in the “Beat Hotel” in Paris, 1960-63, with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. There he wrote his experimental cut-up novel, Beat Hotel, now in its 30th printing. In 1974, City Lights published Norse’s Hotel Nirvana: Selected Poems, establishing him among the leading Beat poets.

He was nominated for the 1974 National Book Award. He was also recognized for his work "Memoirs of a Bastard Angel," which documents his relationships with W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, e.e. cummings, Tennessee Williams, William Carlos Williams, James Baldwin, Dylan Thomas, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Bukowski, Robert Graves, Anais Nin, Paul and Jane Bowles and many more. He continued to write until his death this month in San Francisco.

Cornelia Street Café is at 29 Cornelia St. (between W. 4th St. & Bleecker), near the W. 4th Street A-B-C-D-E-F-V. Admission is $7, which includes a free drink. For reservations and additional information, call 212-731-0574 or email

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