Entry for August 17, 2006

This 1971 photograph of Poet Allen Ginsberg  is by New York artist and  Gerard Malanga.

Malanga  shows Ginsberg a year after he came to William and Mary in support of the Kent State protests, leading the crowd in chanting OM, as black helicopters flew over our head, snapping serveillance photographs, I guess.

2006 is being celebrated as the 50th anniversary of Ginsberg’s poem, “Howl,” which starts off with a bang:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats
floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene ment roofs
illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the
scholars of war,

The full text of the poem can be found at the Ken Rumsey’s Beat page,  along with a biography and other poems. The Allen Ginsberg Trust has news of forthcoming books

 

 

Saturday,August 19,  in New York City , Bowery Arts & Sciences sponsors “The Poem that Changed America…Howl Fifty Years Later, “ based on Jason Shinder ‘s book of the same name, which came out in April from Farrar Straus and Giroux.  Powell’s Bookstore has posted the table of contents at its site.  The L.A. Times ran an April 9 review  by David Ulin.

Here’s the line-up

1:00pm: Kurt Brown: HOWL and the Personal – How it Changed My Life
1:30pm: Gordon Ball: HOWL, the WASTELAND, and the “Footnote”
2:00pm: Bob Rosenthal: Serving HOWL – Witnessing Allen
2:30pm: Alicia Ostriker: Is HOWL Jewish? Are the best minds Yids?
3:00pm: David Gates: Hiphop and HOWL: Please Take Offense
3:30pm: Robert Polito: The Majesty of HOWL – HOWL and: Robert Lowell, Bob Dylan, Frank Bidart
4:00pm: Amiri Baraka – HOWL – All Hail
4:30pm: Panel Discussion: HOWL Today, HOWL Tomorrow? Led by Jason Shinder5:00pm – 6:00pm: “A Public Howl!” Group reading w/ Edwin Torres
6:00pm – 8:00pm: Howl! Speakout! w/ You! and your moments w/ the poem

A 4/17/06 celebration of the book’s publication at Columbia University resulted in a protest by the Underground Literary Alliance, also reported by Rachel Aviv for the Poetry Foundation. 

 

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