The Beat Generation encouraged one of the most influential in movements in culture at the time. Growing its prominence in New York City in the 1950s, beat poetry was the medium of expression of those inspired by their downfalls, sense of individuality and alternative ways of living. A common occurrence of within the beat generation involved people going to a bar and listen to writers read their poems aloud. Yes, it’s very hipster.
Allen Ginsberg was one of the most well-known writers during that time. His work demonstrated his strong views against conformity, sexual repression and the capitalist way in which society was headed. He is known for his epic poem Howl which attracted a lot of controversy and went through an obscenity trial, due to his clear references to homosexuality and sex.
This year, Howl is celebrating its 60 year anniversary with a benefit featuring performances from a range of musicians, actors comedians. Some of them include Courtney Love, Amy Poehler, Red Hot Chill Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Devendra Banhart, Lori Singer and many more, along with some surprise special guests.
Money collected from the benefit will to go to the David Lynch Foundation. It will be held on April 7 at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.
If we were able to attend, we would in a heartbeat. Below is a reading of the poem from the 2009 film with James Franco as Ginsberg.