Allen Ginsberg Facts

Allen Ginsberg Facts
Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and leading figure of the 1950s Beat Generation, best known for his highly controversial poem Howl. He was born Irwin Allen Ginsberg on June 3rd, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey, to Louis, a teacher and poet, and Naomi, a Russian immigrant. Allen began keeping a journal when he was a pre-teen and began writing politically-themed letters to The New York Times. Allen graduated from Eastside High School in 1943, and then Montclair State College. He received a scholarship from the Young Men's Hebrew Association to attend Columbia University, where he wrote for the Columbia Review, and the humor magazine Jester. While at Columbia, Allen Ginsberg won the Woodberry Poetry Prize.
Interesting Allen Ginsberg Facts:
While a freshman at Columbia Allen Ginsberg met Jack Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, and William S. Burroughs.
Allen Ginsberg graduated from Columbia in 1948. In 1949 he was convicted of being a robbery accomplice and to avoid jail, he pled insanity. As a result he spent time in a mental health facility.
In 1954 Allen Ginsberg moved to San Francisco and met his partner Peter Orlovsky, a model.
Allen Ginsberg read from his controversial poem Howl, in 1955 at a gallery. A year later it was published in the book Howl and Other Poems, by City Lights Bookstore.
Howl was deemed as obscene and Allen Ginsberg was tried in court. The judge ruled the poem had merit and vindicated Ginsberg.
Allen Ginsberg's mother had a lobotomy in 1956, and died two days later. She had suffered from mental illness all of Allen's life. Her death was a deep loss for Allen.
Allen GInsberg published Kaddish and Other Poems 1958-1960. It is considered one of Allen's strongest works.
In the 1960s Allen Ginsberg wrote Reality Sandwiches (1963), The Yage Letters (1963) with William S. Burroughs, and Planet News 1961-1967 (1968).
In the 1970s Allen Ginsberg published The Gates of Wrath: Rhymed Poems 1948-1951 (1972), Iron Horse (1972) The Fall of America: Poems of These States (1973), First Blues: Rags, Ballads & Harmonium Songs 1971-1974 (1975), Sad Dust Glories: poems during work summer in woods (1975), and Mind Breaths (1978).
In the 1980s Allen Ginsberg published Plutonian Ode: Poems 1977-1980 (1981), Collected Poems 1947-1980 (1984), and White Shroud Poems 1980-1985 (1986).
In the 1990s Allen Ginsberg published Cosmopolitan Greetings Poems: 1986-1993 (1994), Howl Annotated (1995), Illuminated Poems (1996), Selected Poems: 1947-1995 (1996), and Death and Fame Poems 1993-1997 (1999).
Allen Ginsberg coined the phrase 'flower power' in the 1960s.
Allen Ginsberg won the National Book Award in 1974 for The Fall of America: Poems of These States 1965-1971.
Allen Ginsberg won the Robert Frost Medal in 1986.
Allen Ginsberg wrote with musical groups The Clash, Sonic Youth, and musicians Bono and Philip Glass in the 1980s and 1990s.
Allen Ginsberg died on April 5th, 1997, at the age of 70, from liver cancer. Before he died he phoned as many people in his phone book as possible, including actor Johnny Depp. The last night of his life he had a sleepover with close friends at his apartment.

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