Most Charismatic #12: Allen Ginsberg



The poem “Howl” dropped like a bomb on the literary world of the 1950’s.

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns,
   wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of
   teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and
   tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan
   rantings and kind king light of mind,

It was a golden age of poets and poetry, dominated by names like Eliot, Frost, Sandburg, Rexroth, Berryman– not to mention a visitor from overseas, Dylan Thomas. But no one had seen anything quite like Beat poetry before.

What made the lot of them stand out was their sense of style. A unique look and way of acting and talking which inspired the derogatory term “beatniks.”


For the first and only time in American history, poets– literary people– led the culture.

Allen Ginsberg stood at their epicenter. The debut of “Howl” in 1955 before 100 people at Six Gallery in San Francisco is one of the historic events of American literary history.

howl reading

Allen Ginsberg is #12 on the list of Most Charismatic American Writers.

NEXT: Also Rans #2

#2 Seeds Parties Report



paul whiteman record

The party for F. Scott Fitzgerald had music of the Paul Whiteman jazz band playing– on recording.

josephine baker

Josephine Baker made an appearance, by all accounts was dancing.


The Fitzgeralds sent their large champagne bill to the Tournament. WHAT?!!


dollar sign

Celebration for Ayn Rand‘s inclusion in the Tournament was more subdued– she and a quiet circle of acolytes.


Ayn herself did most of the talking. Her long-suffering husband was in attendance.


denyce graves

Opera star Denyce Graves was rumored to have sung at Toni Morrison‘s celebration. Graves has starred in the Morrison-penned opera “Margaret Garner.”



While Jack Kerouac drank extensively at his own party, many of his “Beat” fans were more focused on smoking (not necessarily tobacco) and drinking coffee.


This party went late. Ended early morning with most partygoers on the floor– sleeping, or a few beatnik couples love making.


trash 2