Author: Allen Ginsberg

Profile: Irwin Allen Ginsberg better known as Allen Ginsberg, was an American writer and poet. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, U.S. and he died in New York City, U.S. He received his B.A. degree from Columbia University. His partner’s name was Peter Orlovsky. He started his friendships with Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs and in the process, formed the core of the Beat Generation.

As a Buddhist he did an extensive study of religious disciplines of the East. With a modest living he purchased clothing from second hand shops and lived in apartments in East Vilage of New York. Chogyam Trungpa, the Tibetan Buddhist and founder of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado was one teacher who influenced him the most. In 1974, poet Anne Waldman and Ginsberg began The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics on the insistence of Trungpa. Allen Ginsberg took part in decades of political protest against everything right from the War on Drugs to the Vietnam War.

Writing style: Allen Ginsberg strictly opposed sexual repression, economic materialism and militarism. Different aspects of this counterculture embodied his hostility towards bureaucracy, opinions on drugs and openness to religions of the East. Allen Ginsberg’s literary movements include hippie Confessional poetry and Beat literature.


Published Texts:


1956 – Howl and Other Poems

1961 – Kaddish and Other Poems

1961 – Empty Mirror: Early Poems

1963 – Reality Sandwiches

1963 – The Yage Letters

1968 – Planet News

1970 – Indian Journals

1975 – First Blues: Rags, Ballads & Harmonium Songs (1971-1974)

1972 – The Gates of Wrath: Rhymed Poems (1948-1951)

1973 – The Fall of America: Poems of These States

1973 – Iron Horse

1974 – Allen Verbatim: Lectures on Poetry, Politics, Consciousness

1975 – Sad Dust Glories: poems during work summer in woods

1978 – Mind Breaths

1981 – Plutonian Ode: Poems (1977-1980)

1984 – Collected Poems (1947-1980)

1980-1985 – White Shroud Poems

1994 – Cosmopolitan Greetings Poems (1986-1993)

1995 – Howl Annotated

1996 – Illuminated Poems

1996 – Selected Poems (1947-1995)

1999 – Death and Fame: Poems (1993-1997)

2000 – Deliberate Prose (1952-1995)

2006 – Howl & Other Poems 50th Anniversary Edition

2006 – The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems (1937-1952)

2009 – The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder

2015 – I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg (1955-1997)

2017 – The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats


Awards and Acknowledgements:

1974 – The Fall of America shared the annual U.S. National Book Award for Poetry

1939 – Received the National Arts Club gold medal

1939 – Inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

1986 – Robert Frost Medal

1995 – Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems (1986-1992)

2014 – Ginsberg was one of the inaugural honorees in the Rainbow Honor Walk, a walk of fame in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood noting LGBTQ people whose contributions have been of significance in their field.