Ashes to Ashes

"I don't care what happens to my body,” Allen Ginsberg wrote in the last poem he composed before he died in 1997. “Throw ashes in the air...." Still, what goes up must come down, and though it’s taken a dozen years, some of those ashes will finally land this summer at the Shambhala Mountain Center in northern Colorado, a sacred place that Ginsberg helped found that’s home to the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, a Buddha-shaped reliquary monument where the ashes will be interred.

But not before Ginsberg’s old cohorts at Naropa University pay tribute. A group of them, including Naropa faculty members and poets Anne Waldman and Reed Bye, will gather tonight at 7 p.m. outside Naropa’s Allen Ginsberg Library, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, for a free Allen Ginsberg Memorial Ceremony sprinkled with readings, memories of the late poet and activist, and a musical performance by Mark Miller, Janet Freed, Junior Burke and Daniel Staniforth. The ceremony will be followed by a faculty reading at 8 p.m. in the Naropoa Performing Arts Center with Mark McMorris, Mei Mei Berssenbrugge, Clayton Eshleman and Bei Dao; it’s part of Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, which features public appearances by faculty and students and other special events throughout the season. Admission to the reading is $4 to $6; for more information about Naropa activities, go to
Fri., July 3, 7 p.m., 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd