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There was one special old soul I heard talk there (one of our "elders"), that I would encourage anyone in or passing through Amsterdam to go hear. He is a beat poet/orator named Simon Vinkenoog...and he was tremendous...funny and full of spirit. He's almost 78 now, lived in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, worked for UNESCO for 7 years in Paris during the 1950s, then in 1959 had psychedelic psychoanalysis...which he said completely changed his life. From that point on he started hanging out with Allan Ginsburg and the likes. He was like one of those fire and bromstone Baptist orators, except he's a hipster...full love love and joy. If you get a chance to hear him talk or give a reading, I would recommend you visit. Here is his website:

http://www.simonvinkenoog.nl/

And here is a site that says something about him:

http://www.crosspathculture.org/path2/vinkenoog.shtml

Simon Vinkenoog is a highly-respected poet, editor and cultural figure in his native Amsterdam: indeed, such is his visibility that, for a while, he was a hero of a popular comic strip. He has continually spear-headed avant-garde movements in Amsterdam and abroad, beginning with a series of important English/Dutch translations of various Beat poets, including Ginsberg. Later work included a cultural mission for the U.N. in India, where he had spent many of his formative years. For many years, he has edited Bres, a magazine of cultural and anthropological writing. He is also the co-author of over 20 books of prose and poetry. One of these, Liefde ("Love"), records Ira Cohen's first appearance in Amsterdam--wearing an Arabian burnous.



"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Jan 22nd, 2006 at 06:56:14 AM EST

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