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Allen Ginsberg
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Allen Ginsberg
Photographer Unknown
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Allen Ginsberg
Summary
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was a poet born in Newark, N.J. to a poet teacher father and radical communist nudist mother. He studied at Columbia University in the mid-1940s where he met fellow students Jack Kerouac and Lucien Carr and non-students William Burroughs and Neal Cassidy, with whom he helped found the Beat movement. He dropped out to follow his poetry and his friends, but did get his B.A. in 1948. With this group he also experimented with marijuana and benzedrine, and spent time in the gay bars of Greenwich Village. He is perhaps best known for his poem Howl, delivered in a now famous recitation at the Six Gallery poetry reading in October 1955.

Ginsberg resided mainly in New York, but travelled widely and lived in the Far East in 1962-63. In the early 60s he joined the hippie scene is San Francisco and helped Timothy Leary spread the word about LSD. He participated in Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, the San Francisco Be-In in 1967, and the demonstrations at the Chicago Democratic convention anti-war protests in 1968. In 1971 he became a director of the Committee on Poetry Foundation and the Kerouac School of Poetics at the Naropa Institute. Later in life he took on the role of guru, lecturing widely and practicing eastern meditation.
Author of (Books)
  • Death & Fame: Poems 1993-1997 (2000)
  • Illuminated Poems (1996)
  • Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 1986-1992 (1995)
  • Allen Ginsberg: Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems And Songs 1949-1993 (1994)
  • Journals: Early Fifties Early Sixties (1993)
  • Collected Poems 1947-1980 (1988)
  • White Shroud (1987)
  • Fall Of America: Poems Of These States, 1965-1971 (1984)
  • Iron Horse (1973)
  • The Yage Letters (1963)
  • Howl and Other Poems (1956)
  • Interviews
  • Interview in The Progressive, by Matthew Rothschild (1994)
  • Audio Interview with Allen Ginsberg, by Don Swaim (1985)
  • This Is Allen Ginsberg? (1976)