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Allen Ginsberg

Biography

Well-known beatnik poet and Nationwide Book Award recipient who’s most widely known for Howl, a controversial 1956 poetic work. His various other notable works consist of Truth Sandwiches, Iron Equine, and Light Shroud Poems. He spent his teenagers submitting politically-themed words to THE BRAND NEW York Situations. He continued to wait Columbia School, where he released numerous articles within the campus literary journal. Howl was at one stage banned in america due to its controversial subject material. He started a long-term romantic relationship with Peter Orlovsky in 1954. He was inspired with the poetic function of Walt Whitman.

Quick Facts


Full Name Allen Ginsberg
Date Of Birth June 3, 1926
Died April 5, 1997, East Village, New York City, New York, United States
Place Of Birth Newark, NJ
Profession Poet
Education Columbia University, Eastside High School, Columbia College of Columbia University in the City of New York, Montclair State University
Nationality American
Parents Louis Ginsberg, Naomi Ginsberg
Siblings Eugene Ginsberg
Partner Peter Orlovsky
Awards National Book Award for Poetry, Robert Frost Medal, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, Lifetime Literary Achievement Award
Nominations Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Movies Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, Pull My Daisy, Jack Kerouac: What Happened to Kerouac?, Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back, Renaldo and Clara, Chappaqua, Me and My Brother, Ciao! Manhattan, Poetry in Motion, Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles, Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider, Growing Up In America, Condo Painting, Heavy Petting, Silence = Death, Road Scholar, Norman Mailer: The American, Herostratus, My Generation, Jonas in the Desert, An Autumn Wind
Star Sign Gemini

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Mentioned in the song "Só As Mães São Felizes" by Cazuza.
2He was nominated for the 2011 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services and contributions to Literature. He was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was also inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
3Is portrayed by David Cross in I'm Not There. (2007).
4In 1954, Ginsberg met his life partner Peter Orlovsky in San Francisco. Orlovsky, who was then 21, remained with Ginsberg until his death 43 years later. They both shared an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, and Orlovsky later himself developed into a published poet.
5In 1965 he was deported from Cuba for publicly protesting against the country's anti-marijuana stance and its homophobic social polices that result in many homosexuals being jailed. He also outraged Fidel Castro and his cadre of "Fidelistas" by allegedly making the remark that Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was "cute." The Cubans deported him to Czechoslovakia, where one week after being named the King of May Day parade, the Czech communist government labeled him an "immoral menace" and deported him. Playright and future Czech President Václav Havel credits Ginsberg with being an important figure inspiring their desire for freedom.
6Ginsberg famously restated the three laws of thermodynamics: The First Law of Thermodynamics -- "You can't win"; The Second Law of Thermodynamics -- "You can't break even"; and The Third Law of Thermodynamics -- "You can't quit".
7Impersonates the voice of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) from Taxi Driver (1976) in The Clash song "Red Angel Dragnet" on their 1982 "Combat Rock" album.
8Biography in: "American National Biography." Supplement 1, pp. 230-232. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
9Was friends with Michael Savage, who later became an ultra-right-wing radio talk show host. The two once skinny-dipped together.
10Admired Mikhail Vartanov's Parajanov: The Last Spring (1992).
11Was admired by Bob Dylan and Donovan; socialized with Dylan occasionally in New York.
12Public readings of Ginsberg's classic "Howl" became an event, before and after the First Amendment controversies surrounding the work. When one heckler doubted Ginsberg's commitment to "going naked in the world", Ginsberg answered him by disrobing onstage.
13Appears as "Carlo Marx," "Alvah Goldbook," "Irwin Garden," and other names, in friend Jack Kerouac's novels. Kerouac also gave Ginsberg's poem "Howl" its title, after writing a critique of the unfinished work, in a letter that began "I received your howl.".
14Friend of the Zen Roshi, Philip Whalen.
15Learned meditation from Gary Snyder.
16Frequently worked with William S. Burroughs.
17Was part of the chorus (including Tom Smothers, Timothy Leary, Norman Mailer, and the local Hare Krishna chapter) who sang on 1969's "Give Peace A Chance" with John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their "bed-in" in Montreal. Spent time later with Lennon and Ono when they moved to New York, and were involved with radicals Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin; they tended to side with Ginsberg when he opposed Hoffman and Rubin's wilder suggestions.
18Won a National Book Award in 1974 for his poetry collection "The Fall of America: Poems of these States, 1965-1971."
19Contributor to Tricycle, The Buddhist Review.
20Cousin of psychiatrist Oscar Janiger.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
America2012VideoNarrator (voice)
Speak Out2007TV Movie
Twister: A Musical Catastrophe2000VideoHe Dead Too (as Rabbi Buddha Whitman/Ginsburg)
Ballad of the Skeletons1997Short
Westmoreland Naples1996Short
It Don't Pay to Be an Honest Citizen1984
Thot-Fal'N1978Short
Renaldo and Clara1978The Father
Global Groove1973Video short
Johnny Minotaur1971
Prologue1970/I
Love Love Love1968Short
Herostratus1967Poet (voice)
Chappaqua1966Messiah
Pull My Daisy1959ShortAllen (as Alan Ginsberg)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Professor Norman Cornett2009Documentary writer: "Pull My Daisy"
Patti Smith: Dream of Life2008Documentary writer: "Spell"
American MastersTV Series documentary writer - 2 episodes, 1994 - 2005 performer - 1 episode, 2005
The Cockettes2002Documentary performer: "Nurse's Song" / writer: "Nurse's Song"
Renaldo and Clara1978performer: "Nurse's Song"
Tonite Let's All Make Love in London1967Documentary performer: "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" - as Alan Ginsberg / writer: "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" - as Alan Ginsberg

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards2010Video short
Ballad of the Skeletons1997Short
The Fifties1997TV Mini-Series documentary poem "Howl" - 1 episode
United States of Poetry1995TV Mini-Series documentary poem
An Autumn Wind1994Short
Drug-Taking and the Arts1993Documentary poem "Laughing Gas"
Me and My Brother1969poems

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Bagels, Borscht, and Brotherhood - Allen Ginsberg2011Documentary short
Hustler for Life1998Short
Ballad of the Skeletons1997Short

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Mushroom's Dam2000Short poem
The Fifties1997TV Mini-Series documentary archive source
Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider1994Documentary archival photographs by

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music2007Documentary dedicated to the memory of
Good Will Hunting1997in memory of
Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol1990Documentary thanks: for generous help and insight

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Dont Look Back1967DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Anatomy of Violence1967TV Movie documentaryHimself - Non-Violent Poet-Prophet
Be-In1967Documentary shortHimself
What's Happening?1967TV Movie documentaryHimself
Galaxie1966Himself
Wholly Communion1965Documentary shortHimself
Couch1964Himself
William S. Burroughs in the Dreamachine2015Video documentaryHimself
Great Poets: In Their Own Words2014TV Series documentaryHimself, Archive
Bagels, Borscht, and Brotherhood - Allen Ginsberg2011Documentary shortHimself
Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place2011DocumentaryHimself
Norman Mailer: The American2010Documentary
Corso: The Last Beat2009Documentary
Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder2009DocumentaryHimself
Farewell to the Deuce2002DocumentaryHimself
Jonas at the Ocean2002DocumentaryHimself
American Magus2002DocumentaryHimself
Chvála bláznivosti2001DocumentaryHimself (voice)
New York: A Documentary Film1999-2001TV Series documentaryHimself - Commentator
Sleep in a Nest of Flames2001DocumentaryHimself
My Generation2000DocumentaryHimself
Condo Painting2000Documentary
The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation1999DocumentaryHimself
American Experience1999TV Series documentaryHimself
Hustler for Life1998ShortHimself
Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles1998DocumentaryHimself
Cold War1998TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
A Poet on the Lower East Side: A Docu-Diary on Allen Ginsberg1997Documentary
Birth of a Nation1997DocumentaryHimself
Scenes from Allen's Last Three Days on Earth as a Spirit1997Video documentaryHimself
U2: A Year in Pop1997TV Movie documentaryHimself
Charlie Rose1997TV SeriesHimself
The Fifties1997TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The Coney Island of Lawrence Ferlinghetti1996Documentary
The History of Rock 'n' Roll1995TV Series documentaryHimself
Man Alive1995TV SeriesHimself - Poet
Rock & Roll1995TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
United States of Poetry1995TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Face to Face1995TV SeriesHimself
Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider1994DocumentaryHimself - Poet
ChickenHawk1994DocumentaryHimself
American Masters1994TV Series documentaryHimself
Jonas in the Desert1994DocumentaryHimself
An Autumn Wind1994ShortHimself
Road Scholar1993DocumentaryHimself
Drug-Taking and the Arts1993DocumentaryHimself (poet)
Flashing on the Sixties: A Tribal Document1990Video documentaryHimself
Flashbacks1990Documentary shortInterview Subject
Silence = Death1990DocumentaryHimself
Heavy Petting1989DocumentaryHimself
Gang of Souls: A Generation of Beat Poets1989DocumentaryHimself
Growing Up in America1988DocumentaryHimself
It Was 20 Years Ago Today1987DocumentaryHimself
The Beat Generation: An American Dream1987DocumentaryHimself
What Happened to Kerouac?1986DocumentaryHimself
Kerouac, the Movie1985DocumentaryHimself (poet)
Before Stonewall1984DocumentaryHimself
Burroughs: The Movie1983Documentary
Arena1983TV Series documentary
Levottomat palat1983TV SeriesHimself
Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol: Friendships and Intersections1982Documentary shortHimself
Poetry in Motion1982DocumentaryHimself
Kopaszkutya1981Himself
Castelporziano, ostia dei poeti1980TV Movie documentaryHimself
La marche gaie1980Short documentaryHimself
Mahagonny1980Himself
The Beats: An Existential Comedy1980Video documentary shortHimself
Fried Shoes Cooked Diamonds1979DocumentaryHimself
The War at Home1979DocumentaryHimself - Activist
The Irv Kupcinet Show1975TV SeriesHimself
Pickup's Tricks1973Documentary
Ciao Manhattan1972Himself
Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally1971DocumentaryHimself
Breathing Together: Revolution of the Electric Family1971DocumentaryHimself
The Fall1969DocumentaryHimself
Walden1969DocumentaryHimself
The David Frost Show1969TV SeriesHimself
Me and My Brother1969Himself
Yippie1968ShortHimself
Firing Line1968TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
Ah, Sunflower1967Documentary shortHimself
Tonite Let's All Make Love in London1967DocumentaryHimself (voice, uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Uncle Howard2016/IDocumentaryHimself
The Stars Behind the Iron Curtain2014DocumentaryHimself
The Sixties2014TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - Poet
Rich Hall's California Stars2014TV Movie documentaryHimself
Beat Generation2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
London - The Modern Babylon2012DocumentaryHimself
Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche2011Documentary
Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco2011DocumentaryHimself
Love Always, Carolyn2011DocumentaryHimself
The Real American: Joe McCarthy2011DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Rich Hall's Continental Drifters2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within2010Documentary
Howl2010Himself
Pop Galerie Reloaded2009TV Series documentaryHimself
Tim Leary: The Art of Dying2008DocumentaryHimself
Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell2008DocumentaryHimself
Sekai gumi TV2007TV Series documentaryHimself
20 to 12007TV Series documentaryHimself
Bob Dylan: Music in Review2007Video documentary
The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music2007DocumentaryHimself
Chicago 102007DocumentaryHimself / activist
The Drug Years2006TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
SexTV2006TV Series documentaryHimself
American Masters2005TV Series documentaryHimself
The Ballad of Greenwich Village2005DocumentaryHimself
Twenty to Life: The Life & Times of John Sinclair2004Video documentaryHimself
Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man2003DocumentaryHimself
The Battle for 'I Am Curious-Yellow'2003Video documentary shortHimself
The Cockettes2002DocumentaryHimself
Literárky - Zápas o mantinely2001DocumentaryHimself
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty2000DocumentaryHimself
Hendrix2000TV MovieHimself (at microphone) (uncredited)
New York in the 50's2000DocumentaryHimself
Grass1999DocumentaryHimself
Bravo Profiles1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Happy Birthday to John1997Documentary shortHimself
No More to Say & Nothing to Weep For: An Elegy for Allen Ginsberg 1926-19971997TV Movie documentaryHimself
Berkeley in the Sixties1990DocumentaryHimself
He Stands in the Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life1986Himself

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#Quote
1The Future is History, we're in Science Fiction now.
2You don't have to be right. All you have to do is be candid.
3Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.


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