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Allen Ginsberg CD Poetry Collection Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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About the Author

Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1926, a son of Naomi and lyric poet Louis Ginsberg. As a student at Columbia College in the 1940s, he began a close friendship with William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac, and he later became associated with the Beat movement and the San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s. After jobs as a laborer, sailor, and market researcher, Ginsberg published his first volume of poetry, Howl and Other Poems, in 1956. "Howl" defeated censorship trials to become one of the most widely read poems of the century, translated into more than twenty-two languages, from Macedonian to Chinese, a model for younger generations of poets from West to East.

Ginsberg was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French minister of culture, was a winner of the National Book Award (for The Fall of America), and was a cofounder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute, the first accredited Buddhist college in the Western world. He died in New York City in 1997.

From AudioFile

It's important to have a record of an author reading his own work, such as this 1995 performance of Ginsberg's selected works. The material is personal, political, hortatory, sexual, satirical, and for the most part, thoughtful, funny, or touching. But this performance is primarily for students or devotees of Ginsberg, who was not a great reader. His voice is more nasal than sonorous. At times, he declaims the poetry like a prophet, but at others he tends toward an amateurish-sounding singsong delivery. His singing is painful, even with musical and vocal backup. The program includes a badly proofread booklet of reprinted poems, songs, and "random thoughts." W.M. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Caedmon (November 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060734159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060734152
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,907,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By St Louis Fan on January 9, 2005
A new years present to myself and I've listened through three times already. Inspiring, makes me want to write and move to California or New York or Europe. Well-packaged, though some typos, and great booklet, 60 pages, with interesting design. Recommended. It's creepy to hear Ginsberg's voice, knowing this was his last major reading of his works. Very good CDs.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A fan on December 24, 2004
A wonderful recording, with Ginsberg's voice loud and clear for all those who ever heard him, or missed his readings. A chronological recording of his major works, spread out across three CDs, which really works as a format: put one on, then the next, then the final, and get a tour of Ginsberg's poetic works over nearly half a century. The progression is noticeable. A great document of American literature, really pleasurable to hear. Comes with a massive booklet, 70 pages or so, with the poems all printed out so you can read along or just skim through it without the CD, including some musical notations. A nice little essay by Stephen Taylor explains the reading format, and another by Geoff Manaugh, who read with Ginsberg during these nights, gives a nice feel for the evenings these were recorded. Each worth reading; each adds to the intimacy of the recordings, I think, hearing from Ginsberg's friends. Could have used more of that, in fact, but that's a minor quibble. An introduction by Bob Rosenthal, as well, who works for the Allen Ginsberg Foundation. They apparently put this out.

Recommended. America's bard still lives...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Impressed Listener on December 24, 2004
Just picked up a copy of this from a publishing friend, topnotch CDs, great package as well. The CDs have drawings by Ginsberg printed onto them, and the cardboard sleeve has filmstills from the readings these are taken from at the Knitting Factory. The booklet is lengthy and detailed, with some short pieces by different writers, but they're rather short. One apparently read with Ginsberg these nights; would like to have read more, perhaps? But a great pleasure, to hear these poems in order, great sound quality. Listening to it right now.
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