East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg
"This was Allen Ginsberg," Gordon Ball declares after recounting intimate moments with the Beat generation poet on East Hill Farm. During the late 1960s, Ginsberg funded what he hoped was "a haven for comrades in distress" in upstate New York. Beginning as an uninspiring, dilapidated four-bedroom house with acres of untended land—including the graves of its first residents—East Hill Farm became home to those who sought pastoral enlightenment in the presence of Ginsberg's brilliance and generosity, including Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Herbert Huncke, and the mythic Barbara Rubin. Farm manager Ball tended to a non-stop flurry of guests, chores, and emotional outbursts while also making time to sit quietly with Ginsberg and discuss poetry, Kerouac, sex, and America's war in Vietnam.
"In writing a memoir about the time he spent managing Allen Ginsberg's farm in upstate New York, Gordon Ball has detailed an important yet often overlooked side of the poet's colorful life. Anecdotally fertile, with a memorable cast of characters, East Hill Farm is informative, entertaining, often very funny, and ultimately important. Allen Ginsberg and Friends live again in these pages."—Michael Schumacher