The Poetry of Allen Ginsberg
Features two 1985 recordings of Ginsberg reading his poetry. The first is at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. The second is a field recording of Ginsberg reading his poem “Plutonian Ode” at the Rocky Flats Peace Camp, a protest encampment just outside the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility eight miles south of Boulder. The program also features an interview with poet Anne Waldman, co-founder with Ginsberg of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa.
Produced and hosted by David Barsamian. Funded by a grant from the Boulder Arts Commission and part of Barsamian’s World Poetry Series on KGNU.
Allen Ginsberg was one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon would follow. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem “Howl,” in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States. Ginsberg was a practicing Buddhist who studied Eastern religious disciplines extensively. One of his most influential teachers was the Tibetan Buddhist, Chögyam Trungpa, founder of the Naropa Institute, now Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. At Trungpa’s urging, Ginsberg and poet Anne Waldman started The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics there in 1974. He passed away in 1997.