Howl for Now

Howl for Now is a celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s epic protest poem. Contributors include poet David Meltzer, Ginsberg collaborator Steven Taylor, film director Ronald Nameth and rock composer Bill Nelson.

‘Howl for Now adds to our understanding of a great poem, a poem as influential in its own way as ‘The Waste Land’ was on an earlier generation’ – Brian Patten

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Book details

ISBN: 978-1901927252
Extent: 144
Editor/s: Simon Warner
File size: 454kb

Cover Price: £9.99 Web £7.99
eBook available on Kindle

A Celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s Epic Protest Poem

On October 7th, 1955, a little known poet called Allen Ginsberg premiered a new long poem in the Six Gallery in San Francisco. ‘Howl’, penned in the shadow of the Cold War, would cause a sensation among the crowd that gathered that evening. It would not be long before the poem’s impact spread far beyond the confines of the Bay Area literary scene to a national and international readership. Within a year, ‘Howl’ would be published by famed independent publisher City Lights. In the decades that followed, the piece would become possibly the most influential poem in American culture, certainly the most widely read.

Ginsberg’s masterpiece is a cornerstone of the dynamic and radical literature produced by the so-called Beat Generation and its resonance is still felt today. In Howl for Now, academics, commentators and practitioners reflect on the power of ‘Howl’, half a century on from Ginsberg’s historic first reading, through a series of essays and interviews. Poet David Meltzer reflects on the San Francisco scene in the mid-1950s, Ginsberg collaborator Steven Taylor offers a personal memoir, film director Ronald Nameth and rock composer Bill Nelson contemplate a documentary version of ‘Howl’, and members of the University of Leeds, in the UK, consider the political, cultural and aesthetic place of the poem as both a social document and a point of contemporary inspiration.

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