New York City's East Village has been the birthplace of several arts and culture movements since the 1950s. Now, The Poetry Foundation and producer Pejk Malinovski have teamed up to create Passing Stranger: The East Village Poetry Walk to help introduce people to the neighborhood's rich, poetic history and development over the past 60 years. Why the heck are we talking about poetry on a movie website? The tour's narrator is none other than Dead Man director Jim Jarmusch. The filmmaker attended Columbia University where he actually studied poetry and literature under some of the New York school's best-known avant-garde writers. His contribution is clearly quite personal, making it an excellent listen. (Download it here.)
The tour runs about 95 minutes long, which will take you on a 2-hour journey from the Bowery in the west to Avenue C in the East, Bleecker Street in the south, and 12th street in the north. Commentary from key figures in the scene includes the likes of critic Daniel Kane, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, and Richard Hell. The audio is intercut with historic, pre-recorded audio from Beat icon Allen Ginsberg, New York School poets Kenneth Koch (who Jarmusch actually studied with in college) and Frank O'Hara. Through a mix of poetry, interviews and archival recordings, you'll get to discover all the famous spots and more, so head to the tour website for more information. Let us know if you wander the streets with Jarmusch for a while.