Author(s): Allen Ginsberg
Beat movement icon and visionary poet, Allen Ginsberg was one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, and broke boundaries with his fearless, pyrotechnic verse. The apocalyptic "Howl", originally written as a performance piece, became the subject of an obscenity trial when it was first published in 1956. It is considered to be one of the defining works of the Beat Generation, standing alongside that of Burroughs, Kerouac, and Corso. In it, Ginsberg attacks what he saw as the destructive forces of materialism and conformity in the United States at the time, and takes on issues of sex, drugs and race, simultaneously creating what would become the poetic anthem for US counterculture.
"Ginsberg is both tragic and dynamic, a lyrical genius...probably the single greatest influence on American poetical voice since Whitman."--Bob Dylan
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was an American poet, best known for the poem Howl (1956). He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, won the National Book Award for The Fall of America, and was a co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute, the first accredited Buddhist college in the Western world. Eric Drooker is a painter and graphic novelist, born on Manhattan Island. His work includes Flood! A Novel in Pictures, and Blood Song: A Silent Ballad. He designed the animation for the recent film, 'Howl', a movie based on the epic poem by Allen Ginsberg, who collaborated with Drooker on the book Illuminated Poems. His paintings appear on covers of The New Yorker, and hang in numerous collections.