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The Time Bernie Sanders dipped out of Allen Ginsberg’s Poetry Reading

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by Alan M. Jalon

“When did Allen Ginsberg and Bernie Sanders first meet? What were the circumstances? Even people close to Sanders and Ginsberg do not agree on that history, explored in a recent piece in the Forward. But a photo that surfaced after the story went to press shows the poet, whose outlook reflected socialist ideas and the socialist mayor of Burlington, Vermont together in Sanders’s office.

The 1983 photo, which prompts new questions about meetings between the two men, was taken by Phyllis Segura, at the time a freelance photographer on assignment for Yoga Journal. She was following Ginsberg and others with him on a tour of Vermont, reading poetry and singing. The image shows an intense-looking Sanders and a more relaxed (and more formally dressed) Ginsberg engaged in what seems like serious talk across Sanders’s desk. What has them so engaged? “I don’t recall what they were talking about,” Segura told the Forward, from her home in upstate New York. “I wish I could remember what they talked about. Another person who I think was in the room at the time was Steven Taylor, a musician who played with Allen.”

Read the full article at Forward

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