Allen Ginsberg in many ways the avatar of the Beat Generation inaugurated the countercultural zeitgeist of the 50s and 60s with his brazen poetry and fluorescent persona. In this allusive, inspired narrative poem, Ed Sanders, one of the Beats favorite sons and a Ginsberg contemporary and friend, charts a path through what he calls the Forest Ginsberg.
The Poetry and Life of Allen Ginsberg is an unsentimental elegy by a fellow poet who lived through the Beat generation. Sanders takes us chronologically through history as witnessed, reflected, and created by Ginsberg, introducing us to the many characters at the center and on the periphery of his sphere. This is a dazzling portrait of a man whose unique world view influenced the literary, cultural, and political history of the 20th century.
Documentary poetry at its best is better than conventional biographies, being closer to verbatim reality without the necessarily distorting lens of the interpretive biographer. . . . Here in Sanders s docudrama the interpretation is pretty much left to the reader. . . . Nothing but the facts, man, in great detail, and poetry is in the detail (the concrete is most poetic, Allen always said). . . . A fine journalist gets it all down, without catering to his subject, and here Allen rises from it, alive in our minds and hearts. Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Ed Sanders s intimate and detailing biography gives us a primary record of all the significant particulars of this endearing man s extraordinary life. Sanders s own productive genius is sparked by the irreducible presence of his subject, and each line of his epic poem is a step toward that generous clarity. Robert Creeley
Edward Sanders is a poet and journalist. He is the editor of the Woodstock Journal and author of many books of poetry (most recently 1968: A History in Verse and Volume One of America: A History in Verse). His chronicle of Charles Manson and associates, The Family, was a national bestseller. He lives with his wife, Miriam, in Woodstock, New York.