Video: ‘Fried Shoes, Cooked Diamonds’

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Meredith Monk was a teacher and performer at the Naropa Institute based in Boulder, Colorado in the late 1970s. Now called the Naropa University, the Institute was a liberal school founded by exiled Tibetan Chögyam Trungpa, and was home to Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetic.

In 1978 filmmaker Costanzo Allione made a short documentary about the activities of the Jack Kerouac School. Narrated by Ginsberg and featuring performances and readings by Monk, Peter Orlovsky, William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Amiri Baraka and many others, the film gently meanders through the daily activities of the school. Fried Shoes depicts the customary pedagogical format of lectures, seminars and crits while also reveling in the unabashed anarchism, enthusiasm, wit and posturing bravado of the school teachers.

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