The d.a. levy collection

d.a. levy Reading His Poetry: May 14, 1967

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This well-preserved color film clip reveals legendary Cleveland poet, publisher and artist reading his poetry onstage at the levy-Lowell benefit held at The Case Institute of Technology Strosacker Auditorium, May 14th, 1967. The event was organized in effort to raise funds to help levy and Cleveland bookseller Jim Lowell's legal defense after the two were charged with reading and distributing "obscene" literature at poetry readings and at Lowell's Asphodel bookstore in Cleveland. Poets Allen Ginsberg and the musical group The Fugs were among others who performed at the event.

Though brief at just under a minute in duration, this extraordinary video nevertheless offers viewers a rare opportunity to see and hear levy perform his craft, in his own time. Here, levy is reading portions from one of the two poems he performed that day, from his 1966 poem Beret: a concrete poem for the war monuments.

Read Newspaper accounts of the event.

About the film....

This clip was edited and digitized from a newly discovered 16mm film segment originally shot by Dennis Goulden of Cleveland's WKYC- TV's vintage television series Montage as he and his crew captured scenes from the counterculture/hippie movement of the late1960s. Additional footage, also digitized and mounted on separate pages include The Fugs performing at the same benefit and an unrelated clip featuring The Mr. Stress Blues Band performing at a nearby coffeehouse around the same time.


Special thanks to producer Dennis Goulden for allowing us to post this clip and KSU Library School practicum student Roy Smith for discovering this treasure while working on his practicum project at CSU. Thanks also to the many individuals in the levy community who helped to verify the location and date of the footage. levy lives!