Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Howl turns 50

On the 13 october 1955 the obscure poet Allen Ginsburg joined 5 other of his friends (Philip Lamantia, Philip Whalen and Michael McClure preceded Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder. Philip Lamantia replaced John Hoffman who had just died in Mexico) in reading their poetry at the Gallery Six in San Franscico, and a new era in verse was born. Well it was maybe not such a quick delivery but it never-the -less was the beginning of something. According to Literary Kicks it was the beginning of "the modern notion of a poetry reading as an ecstatic, spiritual and Dionysian affair (I think Rimbaud and Co. would agree with that).

Happy 50th birthday Howl (Part 1), which had its first public performance that evening. And thanks to Allen Ginsburg, for, as he said in Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home the self-empowerment that drove so much of the beat ideology.

Here is a free audio download/stream of Ginsberg reading Howl with Anne Waldman also reading "Fast Speaking Woman" and other poems.

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