Cover image for The poetry and life of Allen Ginsberg : a narrative poem
The poetry and life of Allen Ginsberg : a narrative poem
Sanders, Ed.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Woodstock : Overlook Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
252 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.A49 P64 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A dazzling journalistic narrative revealing in fascinating detail the man and the artist through the eyes and in the voice of a Ginsberg intimate, who shares the the outlook and resolute social conscience of one of the century's most celebrated and controversial figures. Sanders leads us chronologically through history as witnessed, reflected and created by Ginsberg, introducing us to his friends and foes and the luminaries and common men and women who populated his world.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The first biography of Allen Ginsberg since his death is unusual. It is an affectionate, prosy, book-length poem by second-wave beat writer Sanders, whose acolyte's idolization prompts him to refer to Ginsberg as "the great Bard" throughout. Formally, the poem resembles many by, say, Gary Snyder, Tom McGrath, or . . . Allen Ginsberg himself, with variably indented lines tumbling down the page, sometimes with some regularity but often seemingly just to make it easier to read, especially aloud. Well, easy to read it is, occasionally messy but as animated as Ginsberg was in his life of globe-trotting, absorbing cultures, and doing as he pleased verbally and (homo)sexually, which got him in trouble at home and abroad, especially with regimes--Cuban, Communist Czech, Soviet--that pretended to the egalitarianism he imbibed from his radical parents, if not to the libertarianism (or libertinism) he also championed. Sanders stresses Ginsberg's kindness and generosity consciously and his infatuation with commercial culture inadvertently. He convinces us that Ginsberg was a major cultural figure, if not really a great poet. --Ray Olson