Allen Ginsberg

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Allen Ginsberg (1926 - 1997) Major beat poet. Ginsberg's poetry was strongly influenced by modernism, the beats and cadence of jazz, and his Buddhist faith. In addition, he formed a bridge between the Beats of the 50s and the hippies of the 60s befriending, amongst others, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Bob Dylan.

His principal work "Howl" was considered scandalous at the time of publication, due to rawness of the language, which was frequently explicit and shortly after its 1956 publication by San Francisco's City Lights, it was banned for obscenity. The ban became a cause celebre and was later lifted after a judge declared the poem to possess redeeming social importance. His other major works include "Kaddish", a mediation on the death of his mother, Naomi Ginsberg.