Allen Ginsberg's "Howl & Other Poems" was originally published by City Lights Books in the fall of 1956. Subsequently seized by U.S. Customs and the San Francisco police, it was the subject of a long court trial at which a series of poets and professors persuaded the court that the book was not obscene. Allen Ginsberg was born June 3, 1926, the son of Naomi Ginsberg, Russian emigre, and Louis Ginsberg, lyric poet and schoolteacher, in Paterson, New Jersey. To these facts Ginsberg adds: "High school in Paterson till 17, Columbia College, merchant marine, Texas and Denver copyboy, Times Square, amigos in jail, dishwashing, book reviews, Mexico City, market research, Satori in Harlem, Yucatan and Chiapas 1954, West Coast 3 years. Later Arctic Sea trip, Tangier, Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, read at Oxford Harvard Columbia Chicago, quit, wrote Kaddish 1959, made tape to leave behind & fade in Orient awhile. Carl Solomon to whom Howl is addressed, is a intuitive Bronx dadaist and prose-poet." "Howl was Allen's metamorphosis from quiet, brilliant, burning bohemian scholar trapped by his flames and repressions to epic vocal bard."
--Michael McClure "It is the poet, Allen Ginsberg, who has gone, in his own body, through the horrifying experiences described from life in these pages."--William Carlos Williams
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