HOWL Reading

Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL begins with one of the most recognizable lines of 20th century poetry:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,

His words of protest, rebellion, and catharsis live on in the spirit of youth even in a new generation. By reading Ginsberg’s poetry together, we are creating a communal voice that refuses to replace the value of  freedom of speech and personal expression for apathy. Come join us as we read through The Pocket Poet Series version of HOWL in order to instrument ourselves and the community with powerful words, towards a celebration of poetry and life!

Location and Time

UNTITLED cafe at the BROAD Arts Center (next to the sculpture garden)
Friday, MAY 28th, 2010
from 4-6pm

Sign Up

Please do SIGN UP HERE in order to guarantee a portion for you to read (or simply show up).
Bring your own copy of the City Lights edition, or share ours.
Become part of the mailing list for the event at :

Write on!


Check out a good and approachable introduction to the paperback: Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” and the Paperback Revolution

“The four-part structure—yes, it has one!—of Ginsberg’s poem (including “Footnote to ‘Howl’ “) is essential to its interpretation. First comes a catalog of the destruction wrought upon these best minds, and their resistance to the dominant American culture. Second, the poet sings a screed against “Moloch,” American culture embodied as the avatar of a pagan god to whom children were once sacrificed. The third part of the poem asserts the solidarity of the poet with the mad (in particular, the eccentric Carl Solomon, to whom the poem was initially dedicated) and gestures towards a hopeful reconciliation. Hope resonates, too, throughout “Footnote,” a litany that begins with the word holy repeated 15 times and that asserts the sacred nature of all of life, redeeming madness with divinity.”

-Bill Savage


Lucky, randomly selected readers will receive one of 5 copies of the City Lights edition. All readers are instantly added to the raffle.


One response to “HOWL Reading

  1. Pingback: Howl Reading this Friday 28th! « Society of Poetry at UCLA