New Civilization News: Graham Seidman, Beat Photographer passes Dec 19/05    
 Graham Seidman, Beat Photographer passes Dec 19/05
picture20 Dec 2005 @ 17:47, by Judih Haggai

Graham first started photographing Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso back in the late 50's in Paris. He was there as a Vet, living as an ex-pat, in the Beat Hotel.

I first met him on Litkicks.com [link], a site that was then dedicated to the Beats and all that surrounded them. Now it's changed format, but there are still rich archives of Action Poetry, articles about Ginsberg, Kerouac, Corso and Kesey, to mention a few.

Graham Seidman was a brother to me, a cousin, a relative, a true blood connection. That's how it felt, anyway, from the first time I asked him to share his photography to the active e-mail interaction we shared. He was putting together a book of his stories and often I'd get to proof-read. (How I loved it when he asked if I'd care to see his latest story!)

When we walked the Village in NYC that summer of 2003, he told me tales of Ginsberg picking up one-night stands and the irrepressible Corso, who would just leave the flat and come back with beautiful women who offered to pay his rent. Unfortunately, I had no tape recorder so I had to write it all down from memory a few days later. He corrected every detail before he let me post it on Litkicks. How I wish I'd taped him.

He was a sweet, brilliant man. Highly political, blessed with amazing good sense and courage. He went from American to Parisian to Puerto Rican to Floridian.

He was a man who could not resist a triple-thick pastrami sandwich, and me, my partner and my son dug into impossible sandwiches with him at the 2nd Avenue Deli. I took his picture, he took mine. That's him you see wondering if his camera was going to cooperate at the very moment he was hoping to strut his lens for us.

I wonder if his family will carry on with his projects - photography exhibits, including huge photo montages of the holocaust, and his book of Beat Tales.

Here's a link to an article I wrote of our meeting that day, posted at Litkicks:
Graham Seidman

and here's the link to a site I put up for him to preserve his photos and stories: Graham Seidman's Eye on the Beats There you can see the famous Beat Walk for those who want to visit Paris and see the sites.

Maybe Jeff Starrs ran into him one day. I believe he and Nicole, a sculptress, hung out in Toulousse.

Rest in peace, dear Graham.
Zichrono l'vracha.
May his memory be blessed


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