|Alan Ginsberg (left) with Jack Kerouac|
Poet and core Beat Generation member, Alan Ginsberg, died on this date -- April 5 -- in 1997. Ginsberg needs no introduction to understand the Kerouac connection. He appeared in too many Kerouac works, under aliases of course, to mention here, but you can determine what those were by visiting the excellent Character Key to Jack Kerouac's Duluoz Legend. I will point out that in the two Kerouac novels -- On The Road and The Dharma Bums -- that inspired my book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions, Ginsberg appeared as Carlo Marx and Alvah Goldbrook, respectively.
Allen would be honored if you read -- or listen to him read -- some of his poetry today. You can find it in several places on-line. Here are a couple of links to get you started:
Ginsberg reading "Howl"
It is an instructive exercise to read along while listening to Ginsberg read "Howl."
Despite his living until 1997, when I was 41, I never saw Ginsberg in person. I came into the Kerouac fold late in life, around 2002, 5 years after Allen passed.
RIP, Mr. Ginsberg. I'm sorry I never got to meet you.