ONLINE CLASS: Allen Ginsberg Howl in America (2411)

Four Wednesdays: April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

$130.00 per person (10% off for members)

Lecture and Discussion. This live class will be recorded and available for later viewing.

Allen Ginsberg wrote “Howl” in 1954 and 1955. The poem challenged and changed America. Along with “A Supermarket in California,” “America,” “Sunflower Sutra,” “Kaddish”, and later “Father Death Blues” and the “Don't Smoke Rag” Allen Ginsberg continued a dialog with his fellow citizens and himself, writing often in the long, bardic line championed by Whitman and Blake, and in homage to the original self-reflexive American poem, Walt Whitman's “Song of Myself.”

Allen Ginsberg was the hardest queer worker on the American lathe, in its poetry, and he was a friend and model. In this course we will read widely in his Collected Poems, and also discuss his song lyrics, his interpretations of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, and his deeply moving elegies to his parents.

Allen Ginsberg loved voraciously and foolishly and generously. He broke taboos. He lived on the margins and he challenged the military-economic complex, Golgotha, totalitarianism. He was an amazing defender of free expression. And he challenged abusers of power from the right to the left and the center. He was kicked out of Havana and arrested outside of the Rocky Flats, Colorado nuclear bomb plant. In a protest outside the South African consulate in New York, he asked me to compose a poem on my tongue in front of him. I froze. The words did not flow before the great poet and professor and champion of the dare. I later wrote and chanted the phrase “death to apart hate.” Allen, your spirit infuses these lines and will guide our deep dive into your howl in America.

Four Wednesdays: April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

Required Book:

Allen Ginsberg: Collected Poems: 1947-1997 (9780061139758)

Indran Amirthanayagam is an American diplomat, poetry publisher with Sara Cahill Marron at Beltway Editions (; editor of The Beltway Poetry Quarterly ( and director of The Poetry Channel on Youtube. ( He writes poetry in English, French, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Portuguese. He has published twenty three books, including Ten Thousand Steps Against the Tyrant, Blue Window (Ventana Azul), The Migrant States and Uncivil War, and his forthcoming book is Powet Nan Po A (Poet of the Port).

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: 9787000012691
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Collected Poems 1947-1997 By Allen Ginsberg Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061139758
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - October 9th, 2007