Allen Ginsberg, the poet who wrote Howl and gave voice to the Beat Generation’s passion and discontent, would have turned 84 today. (He died of liver cancer in 1997.) A new book celebrating Ginsberg’s life and the lives of his fellow Beats was released last month: The Typewriter is Holy, by Bill Morgan. As the book’s publicist says,
For the last two decades of Allen Ginsberg’s life, Bill Morgan assisted him daily as his bibliographer and archivist. As the author and editor of more than twenty books on the Beat Generation, including I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg (Viking Press, 2006), Morgan, quite simply, knows more about the Beats than anyone alive.
I was captivated by the Beat poets and writers when I was younger, especially as a teenager; they helped me to realize that life could be deliciously strange and full of unexpected beauty. I might just pick up this book and see if the Beats still speak to me as an adult. Will you?