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Tuli Kupferberg

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Tuli Kupferberg (born September 28, 1923) is a Jewish American counterculture poet, author, cartoonist, pacifist anarchist, publisher and co-founder of the band The Fugs.


A cum laude graduate of Brooklyn College in 1944, Kupferberg founded the magazine Birth in 1958[1]. Birth ran for only three issues but published notable Beat Generation authors such as Allen Ginsberg, Diane Di Prima, LeRoi Jones, and Ted Joans in the Beat circle.

Kupferberg reportedly appears in Ginsberg's poem Howl as the person "who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown". The incident in question actually occurred on the Manhattan Bridge[2], and is mentioned in the prose poem "Memorial Day 1971" written by Ted Berrigan and Anne Waldman:

I asked Tuli Kupferberg once, "Did you really jump off of The Manhattan Bridge?" "Yeah," he said, "I really did." "How come?" I said. "I thought that I had lost the ability to love," Tuli said. "So, I figured I might as well be dead. So, I went one night to the top of The Manhattan Bridge, & after a few minutes, I jumped off." "That's amazing," I said. "Yeah," Tuli said, "but nothing happened. I landed in the water, & I wasn't dead. So I swam ashore, & went home, & took a bath, & went to bed. Nobody even noticed."

The above paragraph is a poetic fiction, and did not really occur as stated . Ginsberg's description in Howl is likewise partly fictional .

Kupferberg self-published the book Beatniks; or, The War Against the Beats in 1961. Perhaps his best-known book is 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft (1966), a satirical collage created with Robert Bashlow. In 1961, he wrote 1001 Ways to Live Without Working, which actually contains 1005 ways to live without working. The book also contains a number of old advertisements, for items such as raffles for slaves, and unfailing ways to cure cancer and obesity. His most recent work is Teach Yourself F****ing, a collection of cartoons that was published by Autonomedia in 2000.

In 1964, Kupferberg formed the satirical rock group The Fugs with poet Ed Sanders.[3] He was one of the band's singers and wrote many of their songs. He also released two solo albums: No Deposit, No Return in 1966, which is a collection of found pop poetry, and Tuli & Friends in 1989.

Kupferberg is active in New York pacifist anarchist circles. He was featured in a cameo appearance in the Richard Pryor underground film Dynamite Chicken and more recently in the music video for Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror by Jeffrey Lewis[4]. His bi-weekly T.V. show Revolting News airs on Manhattan Neighborhood Network's Channel 56 on alternate Mondays at 10 P.M. EST. The show may also be accessed internet stream at MNNs website.

Tuli Kupferberg suffered a stroke in April 2009 at his home in New York City. It left him severely visually impaired, and in need of regular nursing care. After treatment for a number of days at a hospital in New York, followed by convalescence at a nursing home, he is now at home, where he is continuing to write songs and add "perverbs' to his YouTube and DailyMotion channels, both called "tulifuli." According to The Fugs website, for the last few months The Fugs have been in the studio completing a new CD, entitled "Be Free", which features five of Tuli’s new songs, including the magnificent anthem, “Backward Jewish Soldiers,” and a setting of his famous poem, “Greenwich Village of My Dreams.”


Published works

  • Beating (1959)
  • Children's Writings (1959)
  • Children as Authors: A Big Bibliography (1959, with Sylvia Topp)
  • Snow Job: Poems 1946-1959 (1959)
  • Selected Fruits & Nuts (1959)
  • Stimulants, An Exhibition (1960)
  • 1001 Ways to Live Without Working (1961)
  • The Grace & Beauty of the Human Form (1961)
  • 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Beatniks : or, The War Against the Beats (1961)
  • Sex and War (1962)
  • The Mississippi (A Study of the White Race) (1962)
  • The Rub-Ya-Out of Omore Diem (1962)
  • The Christine Keeler Colouring Book & Cautionary Tale (1963)
  • Kill for Peace (1965)
  • Caught in the Act: a Legal Vaudeville (1966)
  • The Book of the Body (with Judith Wehlau, 1966)
  • I Say to Masturbate is Human, to Fuck Divine (1966)
  • 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft (with Robert Bashlow, 1967)
  • Fuck Nam : a morality play (1967)
  • 1001 Ways to Make Love (1969)
  • Newspoems (1971)
  • Listen to the Mockingbird; satiric songs to tunes you know (1973)
  • As They Were (with Sylvia Topp, 1973)
  • Universal Housewife (1975)
  • First Glance (with Sylvia Topp, 1978)
  • As They Were Too (with Sylvia Topp, 1979)
  • O God! (1980)
  • The Crazy Paper (1980)
  • Less Newspoems (1981)
  • Questionable Cartoons (1981)
  • True Professions (1981)
  • Why Don't We Do It in the Bed? (1982)
  • Was It Good For You Too? (1983)
  • After the Balls Are Ova (1984)
  • In Media's Feces (1986)
  • Kill For Peace, Again (1987)
  • Reaganation (1987)
  • The Tuli Kupferberg Instant Lottery Broadside (1988)
  • The Dark Night of the Soul in the Poetry Mines (1988)
  • Signed By the Artist (1990)
  • Don't Make Trouble (1991)
  • My Prick is Bigger Than Yours (1992)
  • The Land that God Remembered (1992)
  • The Old Fucks at Home (1992)
  • You Know Helen : Maybe Chimps Know a Lot More Than We Think (1994)
  • Hey Ann! : What's The Diff Between Religion & Patriotism? (with Dave Jordan, 1994)
  • Whitman said : "In order to have great art you have to have great audiences!"(1994)
  • When I Hear the Word 'Culture' I Reach for My Gun (1994)
  • I Hate Poems About Poems About Poems (1994)
  • Great Moments in the History of Sport : No. 4, The Spartans Invent Football (1994)
  • Teach Yourself Fucking (2000)
  • Paris I Have Never Seen' (2001)


  • Super Girl
  • Seize the Day (Carpe Diem)
  • Nothing
  • The Ten Commandments (by God and Tuli)
  • Hallucination Horrors
  • CIA Man (the final song in the film Burn After Reading)
  • My Bed Is Getting Crowded
  • Caca Rocka
  • Kill For Peace
  • Morning, Morning
  • The Garden Is Open
  • Dover Beach (after the Matthew Arnold poem)
  • Life Is Strange
  • When The Mode Of The Music Changes
  • Bum's Song
  • Flower Children
  • Children Of The Dream
  • Defeated
  • Jackoff Blues
  • The Smoking Gun
  • Here Comes the Levellers
  • The Ballad of the League of Militant Agnostics
  • If You Want to Be President


  1. Sisario, Ben (2003-07-15). "Rock 'n' Roll Dissidents, Fearless for 4 Decades". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  2. Holden, Stephen (1987-08-21). "POP/JAZZ; The Fugs Look Back to 1967's 'Summer of Love'". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-08. ". . . Tuli Kupferberg, the poet and cartoonist whom Mr. Ginsberg remembered in Howl as the person who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived. (Mr. Ginsberg said the other day that the incident actually took place on the Manhattan Bridge in 1945.)" 
  3. Strausbaugh, John (2000-09-20). "The Old Fug". New York Press. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  4. "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror" (video). YouTube. 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tuli Kupferberg. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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