Allen Ginsberg
Born 1926 in Paterson, New Jersey, United States.
"Allen Ginsberg, chanter of the scorchingly present-tense 'Howl', is one of the true lunar voices rising about the skyscrapers; he has the courage of his imagination, and is keening a mighty song for his generation. Ginsberg is both an exciting and highly readable human poet. His fever is that of thousands; but nobody of his age and time threw the sick-room back at life as he did, and thus redeemed us all as well as himself. Society's fangs await his beautiful phantasmagorical songs, if only to insure their validity; but he who would be an atom-age Shelley must have a price on his head. The stakes demand it. Ginsberg is really a bit of a miracle".
Seymour Krim (in The Beats , 1960).
"Illuminative audition of William Blake's voice simultaneous
with Eternity-Vision 1948 and underground bust-culture
Apocalypse-realization conduced to eight-month
stay in NY State Psychiatric Institute and later
preoccupation with Gnostic-mystical poetics and
politics, residence in India Vietnam Japan visit
1962-63, mantra chanting, & experiment with poetic
effects of psychedelic drugs beginning 1952 and
continuing with
Dr Timothy Leary through Cambridge
experiments 1961 -- Traveling Cuba Russia Poland
Czechoslovakia culminating May Day 1965 election
as King of May (Kral Majales) by 100,000 Prague
young citizens. Albert Hall Poetry Incarnation in London,
and anti-Vietnam-war early flower power marches in Berkeley 1965.
Testified U.S.Senate hearing for legalization of psychedelics. Teargassed
chanting AUM at Lincoln Park Yippie life-festival Chicago 1968 Presidential Convention, then accompanied Jean Genet and

William Burroughs
on front line march led by Dave Dellinger. Chanted OM to judge and jury December 1969 Anti-War-Conspiracy trial Chicago. Pallbore Funerals late Kerouac and Olson, last few winters spent outside cities learning music milking cows and goats."

Allen Ginsberg (liner notes from the LP: A Cold Turkey Press Special , edited by Gerard Belart and Carl Weissner, 14 May 1972)
"Together with William S.Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Diane Di Prima, Gary Snyder, LeRoi Jones, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Clellon Holmes, Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia, Ted Joans, et al... represented the heart, the voice, and the imagination of the beat scene.

"When Ginsberg's poem 'Howl' was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
of City Lights Bookshop fame, the political establishment immediately
branded it obscene. Winning the ensuing court battle to defend 'freedom
of speech' was a milestone in breaking the grip of the conformist 1950s.
The defense presented a united front of artists explaining the role of art
and its reflection on life. Thus the gateway was widened for today's
avant-garde." --
Henry W.Targowski (in Mark/Space , 1995).

Died: Saturday 5 April 1997.

Additional Links

Amerika On-Line -- Talk with Allen Ginsberg
(interview by
Mark Amerika)

City Lights Bookshop
(Literary home of the Beat Generation... Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

Introduction to Allen Ginsberg by Lee Harris
(on the occasion of
Allen Ginsberg's appearance at the Megatripolis club in London, England, on thursday 19 October 1995...
this appearance was documented by a film crew, independently shot on video, and internet transmitted to the Cyberia café.)

Literary Kicks -- Allen Ginsberg Biography
Levi Asher's biography of Allen Ginsberg with a link to bibliography)
"This site has really and truly developed, it's probably the best overview on the beat scene available on the internet... the personal interest of one triggered the joint effort of others... do check it's absolutely wonderful and most highly recommended."

Henry W.Targowski

Shadow Changes Into Bone -- Mongo's Allen Ginsberg Page
("My goal is to be the clearinghouse for all information on Allen Ginsberg existing on the Web. I think I've gone a long way toward that goal, with several hundred links, pointing to poems, photos, interviews, articles, commentary, humor and other assorted Ginsbergia." --Mongo BearWolf.)
"A truly major resource on Ginsberg... very highly recommended."

Henry W.Targowski

Of Related Interest
  • Beat Scene / Beat Generation / Bohemians
  • Counterculture / Underground
  • Erotica
  • Neurologic / Consciousness
  • Poetry
  • Psychedelics / Altered States
  • Social History
  • authors biographs glossary keywords new books online books recommended reading
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    © Anachron Foundation, Mark/Space Interplanetary Review. Page compiled by Henry W.Targowski, with input from: Lee Harris, Mongo BearWolf