New from Counter Culture Chronicles:
Raised in Europe before World War 2, ruth weiss turned into a pioneering bohemian poet on the other side of the Atlantic after the war. weiss was born into a Jewish family in Germany in 1928 and much of her childhood was spent running from the spreading and intensifying Nazi persucation of those days. After having found a temporary refuge in The Netherlands, weiss and her parents escaped to safety in Chicago in 1939. There, ruth weiss began experimenting with combinations of poetry and jazz in her early twenties before hitchhiking to San Francisco in 1952, where she began performing with street musicians and soon developed into one of the pioneers of fusing poetry and jazz.
ruth weiss – who has spelled her name in lower case to break down the hierarchy in letters since the 1960s – met and worked with Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady soon after her arrival in California and turned her apartment into an early project space for poetry readings and music the next year. weiss paid tribute to the female poets that she admired in her compilation Gallery of Women in 1959 and adapted her poem The Brink for a short film which she directed herself two years later. Her most important poem, the experimental and revelatory Desert Journal, was started in 1961, completed in 1968 and published in 1977. weiss has continued to publish, perform and read poetry to this day. With this cassette CCC has published a beautiful document and tribute to ‘beat goddess’ ruth weiss.