Beat Poets

Beat Poets

Book - 2002
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This rousing anthology features the work of more than twenty-five writers from the great twentieth-century countercultural literary movement. Writing with an audacious swagger and an iconoclastic zeal, and declaiming their verse with dramatic flourish in smoke-filled cafés, the Beats gave birth to a literature of previously unimaginable expressive range.

The defining work of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac provides the foundation for this collection, which also features the improvisational verse of such Beat legends as Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, and Michael McClure and the work of such women writers as Diane DiPrima and Denise Levertov. LeRoi Jones's plaintive "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note" and Bob Kaufman's stirring "Abomunist Manifesto" appear here alongside statements on poetics and the alternately incendiary and earnest correspondence of Beat Generation writers.

Visceral and powerful, infused with an unmediated spiritual and social awareness, this is a rich and varied tribute and, in the populist spirit of the Beats, a vital addition to the libraries of readers everywhere.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf, 2002
ISBN: 9780375413322
Branch Call Number: 811.5408 Beat
Characteristics: 250 p. --
Additional Contributors: Ciuraru, Carmela


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Feb 11, 2016

The introduction did say that the beat poets do not really conform to traditional criteria of poetry, which I now know to understand as a diplomatic way of saying that they wrote poetry badly. But, there are some good poems in here, like, "Preface to a Twenty volume suicide note" (that's a great title!), "Hotel Nirvana", and "Easter Sunday, NY, NY", and those by Kerouac. One can see where the 'style' of 'poetry slamming' had its origins in America from this collection. One of the best parts of the work is the appendix of several letters and essays by those in or associated with the Beats.

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