The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg Paperback


Eliot Katz looks into the poetry and politics of Allen Ginsberg.




Allen Ginsberg was one of the most politically engaged writers of his era, with a widespread social and cultural impact that was rare for a poet of his or any generation. In this volume, Eliot Katz takes a readable, scholarly look at Ginsberg’s most influential poems and explores the varied and inventive ways that Ginsberg turned his political ideas and perceptions into powerful poetry. While there have been some important, previous biographies and other books looking at Ginsberg’s life and work, this is the first full-length volume focusing primarily on how Ginsberg’s writing works as political poetry and on Ginsberg’s extraordinary influence on political culture over the ensuing decades.

As a longtime poet and activist himself, as well as a friend of Ginsberg’s who worked with him on a number of poetry and activist endeavors, Katz brings a unique personal, political, and literary perspective to this project. This book—including its chapter on “Howl,” which offers an astute and original guide to reading Ginsberg’s most celebrated poem—will be of interest to students and scholars studying Ginsberg’s poetry in college classrooms, as well as to general readers and writers who enjoy Ginsberg’s work.

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