City Lights welcomes Gordon Ball, reading from his new short story collection, On Tokyo’s Edge, from Red Mountain Press.
Gordon Ball is a poet, photographer, filmmaker, professor of English, and master storyteller. For 28 years he took informal photographs of poet Allen Ginsberg and others of the Beat Generation, the literary and cultural phenomenon which has had a world-wide impact since its inception in the mid-1950s. As well as being exhibited at numerous conferences and other sites, Ball’s photos have appeared in many books, including Dennis McNally’s Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America and Carole Tonkinson’s Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation. Starting at Ginsberg’s upstate New York farm in 1968, he worked with the poet on various literary and artistic projects, editing three books, including two volumes of journals and the Pulitzer Prize nominee Allen Verbatim. He’s the author of ’66 Frames: A Memoir (Coffee House Press, 1999); Dark Music (Cityful Press 2006, Elik Press, 2012); and East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg (Counterpoint 2011). He is as well an award-winning maker of personal film (and will be giving a Canyon Cinema Salon of his work the night after his reading at City Lights). His City Lights reading will be devoted to his just-released On Tokyo’s Edge: Gaijin Tales from Postwar Japan, a volume of interrelated short stories which Bill Morgan has characterized as “Beautifully written” and “a book I couldn’t put down.” Gordon lives in Lexington, Virginia, where he teaches at Washington and Lee University.