Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Anniversary of the first public reading of Howl

The most famous poem associated with the beat generation writers, "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg, was first read publicly at The Six Gallery in San Francisco on October 7, 1955, 54 years ago today. In 1957, customs officials seized copies of the book containing Howl, leading to obscenity charges against its American publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, owner of City Lights Bookstore. Ferlinghetti prevailed, with Judge Clayton W. Horn ruling that the poem was not obscene because it was of "redeeming social importance."

Read Howl here and the Footnote to Howl here (couldn't find it all in one spot).

WARNING: Do not read Howl if you are homophobic or prissy. Your brain will start to boil, blood will spurt out of your ears, and you will likely soil yourself. We don't want that, now do we?

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