The Essential Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg, Michael Schumacher (ed.)

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  • Harper Collins
  • 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-06-236228-5
  • 448 pages
  • Paperback
  • 23 x 15.1 x 2.6 cm

Featuring the legendary and groundbreaking poem “Howl,” this remarkable volume showcases a selection of Allen Ginsberg’s poems, songs, essays, letters, journals, and interviews and contains sixteen pages of his personal photographs.

One of the Beat Generation’s most renowned poets and writers, Allen Ginsberg became internationally famous not only for his published works but for his actions as a human rights activist who championed the sexual revolution, human rights, gay liberation, Buddhism and eastern religion, and the confrontation of societal norms—all before it became fashionable to do so. He was also the dynamic leader of war protesters, artists, Flower Power hippies, musicians, punks, and political radicals.

The Essential Ginsberg collects a mosaic of materials that displays the full range of Ginsberg’s mental landscape. His most important poems, songs, essays, letters, journals, and interviews are displayed in chronological order. His poetic masterpieces, “Howl” and “Kaddish,” are presented here along with lesser-known and difficult to find songs and prose. Personal correspondence with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac is included as well as photographs—shot and captioned by Ginsberg himself—of his friends and fellow rogues William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and more.

Through his essays, journals, interviews, and letters, this definitive volume will inspire readers to delve deeper into a body of work that remains one of the most impressive literary canons in American history.