Howl: the new boxed set
Allen Ginsberg: Iron Curtain Journals
Ginsberg and the Beat Generation
previous arrow
next arrow
Christopher Smart - 2
Allen Ginsberg continues reading from Christophe Smart's Jubilate Agno
Christopher Smart - 1
Allen Ginsberg begins reading from Christopher Smart - Jubilate Agno
Christopher Smart - Intro
A brief introduction to the Life of Christopher Smart, madman, poet.
Barry Farber Interview - 4
Allen Ginsberg-Barry Farber's conversation continues, Barry Farber gets "punked", and Allen gets to discusses, among other things, ecology (eco-consciousness) and the apparent difficulty (alleged impossibility) of literary translation
Barry Farber Interview - 3
Peter Orlovsky reads a poem, Allen Ginsberg discusss visiting Jack Kerouac's grave with Bob Dylan, and recalls the history of the Beat Generation. More of the Allen Ginsberg-Barry Farber conversation.
More Recent Articles ...
Who was Allen Ginsberg?
(Dig in and find out.)
a founder of the beat generation
Arriving in New York City in 1944 to study at Columbia University, young Allen Ginsberg formed a close personal friendship with then-unknown Jack Kerouac, Jack’s friend Neal Cassady and two legendary Times Square junkie outlaws, wise from their time on the streets, William S Burroughs and Herbert Huncke. These friendships eventually flowered into the original literary movement known as the Beat Generation.

Read more about: Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, Lew Welch, Philip Lamantia, Anne Waldman, Bob Kaufman, Ray Bremser and Ted Joans.

a modern american poet
Ginsberg’s groundbreaking performance of “Howl” in 1955 in San Francisco began an epic career that would eventually place this poet in the lineage of his hero and great “courage teacher” Walt Whitman and advance (following upon the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Hart Crane, Ezra Pound and, most notably, William Carlos Williams) the development of a specifically American vernacular in poetry.

Read more about: Imagism, Objectivism, Vachel Lindsay, Marsden Hartley, Gertrude Stein, E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, Robert Bly, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, John Wieners, Frank O’Hara, Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery.

an international poet
New Jersey-born Allen Ginsberg reached far beyond the American tradition with his vibrant life in poetry, bridging literary connections with past and present, recognizing the inter-relatedness of poetry and poetics from around the world.

Read more about: Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Guillaume Apollinaire, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Basil Bunting, W.H. Auden, W. B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Hugh McDiarmid, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Nicanor Parra, Ernesto Cardenal, Fernando Pessoa, Nanao Sakaki, Sergei Esenin, Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Andrei Voznesnsky and Vladimir Mayakovsky.

a radical activist
Allen Ginsberg was an outspoken voice for human rights, gay liberation, freedom of speech and ecology. The most politically-engaged poet of the 20th century, he protested against the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, sexual repression, censorship, corporate abuses, draconian drug laws, the FBI and the CIA, and spoke out for a new vision of peaceful coexistence that helped define the ideals of the 1960s and beyond.

Read more about: Abbie Hoffman, Amiri Baraka, Ed Sanders, Benjamin Spock, Amy Goodman, Bernie Sanders, David Dellinger, Daniel Berrigan, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary and Lenny Bruce.

a global provocateur
Allen Ginsberg made big waves on the global stage from the 1960s until his death in 1997. He visited Cuba at the height of US/Cuba tensions and was crowned Kral Majales (King of May) in Prague during a key moment of the Soviet Union/Czech crisis, in 1967. He championed dissidents and persecuted citizens, whenever he encountered them, throughout his life.

Read more about: India, Australia, Latin America, Tibet, China, Hungary and Poland.

a teacher and scholar
Allen Ginsberg taught at Naropa University and at Brooklyn College, where he pursued intellectual interests and delivered fascinating and original lectures on a surprising variety of literary topics. Many of these lectures are transcribed in full on this website.

Read more about: Sappho, Catullus, John Dowland, Sir Thomas Wyatt, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Milton, John Donne, Christopher Smart, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, William Wordsworth and William Blake.

a spiritual thinker
A focus on spirituality and religion has been a unique aspect of the work of Allen Ginsberg, from the Judaism of his heritage to the Hinduism (Hare Krishna) discovered in his classic sojourn in India, to the Zen, and subsequently Tibetan, Buddhism and Meditation practice that he later became devoted to.

Read more about: D.T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, A.C. Prabhupada, Ram Dass, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Gelek Rimpoche.

a musician, artist and photographer
As a singer, songwriter and performing artist, Allen Ginsberg collaborated with, performed with, or was inspired by, a wide range of musicians, in a number of genres, among them David Amram, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Philip Glass.

Read more about: Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Woody Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Joe Strummer, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Arthur Russell, Steven Taylor, Harry Smith, Robert Lavigne, Nam June Paik, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Eric Drooker,
Richard Avedon and Elsa Dorfman.

Follow us on Instagram