Allen Ginsberg


Beat poet and seminal censorship trial victor Allen Ginsberg (and his most famous work Howl) hold a respected place in United States literary history. His poetry’s challenging themes, including communism, graphic sexuality, and drug use, put a political spin on his writings that culminated in his publisher being sued for obscenity and a precedent-setting ruling that Howl was acceptable on the grounds of its artistic value. Ginsberg was also a committed Buddhist and participant in the Hare Krishna movement. Following the beginning of his fame, Ginsberg began tailoring his letters with the expectation that they would be collected and read widely; his predictions proved accurate, as his archivist later published several biographical works, including the aforementioned letters.

Although he is frequently classified as a gay writer, Ginsberg had multiple relationships with women (see here for several examples); for that reason, he is classified here as both gay and bisexual.

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