NTC: Allen Ginsberg and the Postwar Avant-Garde

Monday, February 11, 2013

09:30 am-12:30 pm

Tony Trigilio, Columbia College
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Rather than read Allen Ginsberg exclusively as a Beat Generation writer, this seminar will study Ginsberg as a poet immersed in the major avant-garde movements of the postwar United States. Ginsberg’s most well-known poem, “Howl,” seemed to come out of nowhere in 1956, and it shook up the twentieth-century poetry establishment to such a degree that the poem often is seen as evidence that Ginsberg’s experimental poetics emerged in isolation. However, Ginsberg’s work is situated in a constellation of experimental poetries from his era. After a brief examination of Ginsberg’s avant-garde precursors, we will discuss the texts and contexts of Ginsberg’s relationship with postwar experimentalists, including but not limited to the Black Mountain School, the Confessional Poets (not necessarily experimental now, though they were exemplars of a radical subjectivity in the early years of Ginsberg’s career), the New York School, and the Language Poets.

Cost and Registration Information 

For registration information please contact Charlotte Wolfe at wolfec@newberry.org