Fun Facts Friday: Allen Ginsberg

June 3, 2016

Allen Ginsberg  (3 June, 1926 – 5 April, 1997) was an American poet known for his controversial poem Howl. Mr. Ginsberg was a leading poet in the Beat Generation of the 1950s.

1967 Mantra-Rock Dance Avalon poster.jpg
By Harvey W. Cohen – (Original uploaded on en.wikipedia),
CC BY-SA 3.0,

1) He was born in Newark, NJ.

2) His mother Naomi, a Russian immigrant, suffered from mental illness and died in 1956, two days after getting a lobotomy.

3) Mr. Ginsberg wrote politically themed letters to The New York Times even before he was a teenager.

4) As a freshmen at Columbia University, Mr. Ginsberg met Jack Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, and William S. Burroughs.

5) In 1949 Mr. Ginsberg was convicted of being an accomplice in a robbery, he pleased insanity to avoid jail time (but had to spent time in a mental health facility).

6) His poem Howl was deemed obscene, however a judge ruled that the poem had merit. See my previous fun facts post about Howl.

7) He coined the phrase “flower power”

8) In 1974 Mr. Ginsberg won the National Book Award foyr The Fall of America: Poems of These States 1965-1971.

9) In the 1980s and 1990s Mr. Ginsberg wrote with musical groups The Clash, Sonic Youth, and musicians Bono and Philip Glass.

10) Before he died, Mr. Ginsberg phoned as many people as he could.

Zohar — Man of la Book


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