‘Fried Shoes, Cooked Diamonds’ (1979)

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

Less than a minute

In 1978, some three years after the violent assault on William Merwin and Dana Naone, the Italian documentary filmmaker Costanzo Allione visited Boulder, Colorado to film at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics of Naropa Institute.

According to Allen Ginsberg, Allione’s film Fried Shoes, Cooked Diamonds provides a “serious and spontaneous account of conversations and teachings and home scenes.”

This documentary provides a rare contemporaneous glimpse inside the Jack Kerouac School and Naropa Institute, right around the time these nascent institutions were embroiled in The Great Naropa Poetry Wars.

Joan Rousmanière Ewing, then known as Tsultim Ewing, a former Tibetan Buddhist nun, taught and worked at Naropa Institute and Vajradhatu at the time. She and Constanzo Allione met and married later, after which she became known as Lama Tsultrim Allione.

About the author

Rob Hogendoorn

Investigative reporter and academic researcher Rob Hogendoorn (b. 1964) began researching the reception of Buddhism in Western society and culture in the early 1990s. His modus operandi remained the same ever since: independent, inquisitive and provocative.