Allen Ginsberg – New York City, Fall 1953. ‘Myself seen by William Burroughs, my new-bought Kodak Retina from Bowery hock-shop in his hand, our apartment roof Lower East Side between Avenues B & C, Tompkins Park trees under new antennae.’ Text by Allen Ginsberg

All images thanks to Corbis and The Allen Ginsberg Trust.

Allen Ginsberg, the American poet and leading member of the Beat Generation who vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression is mainly known as the author of Howl, the epic poem that is rightly regarded as one of the defining works of the Beat Generation. However, he was also a prolific photographer. This rare chance to see photographs taken by Allen Ginsberg of his radical American writers and artist friends, will run at the National Theatre till the 20 March 2011.

Courtesy of Corbis and The Allen Ginsberg Trust, visitors will be able to trace the early years of Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs as they moved towards the centre of the American literary consciousness. Later photographs feature Ginsberg’s New York peers and a small selection of works by other photographers charts the influence of the Beats.

A great way to gen up on the Beat Generation in advance of the release of ‘Howl’ in late February, a film about the obscenity of censorship, starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.

There will be a chance to learn more about the work of the Beat writers of the 50’s and 60’s and the photographs in the exhibition at a special weekend Platform:
Angelheaded Hipsters: Discovering the Beat Movement
Saturday 19 February at 10.30am
The Lyttelton Theatre
Tickets are £5
Guests include the poet Michael Horovitz, and the co-founder of the underground newspaper, International Times, and biographer of Allen Ginsberg, Barry Miles.

National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Information: 020 7452 3400
Nearest tube: Waterloo
Admission: Free
Monday 24 January – Sunday 20 March 2011
Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 11.00pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm

William Burroughs with gun

Psychologist Timothy Leary and Neal Cassady in Bus. ‘Timothy Leary and Neal Cassady’s first meeting in Ken Kesey-Merry Pranksters’ ‘Further’ bus which Neal’d driven crosscountry, L.S.D. cool-aid pitcher in icebox. Neal scratching amphetamine itch in his driver’s palm.’ Text by Allen Ginsberg

Neal Cassady and Natalie Jackson on Market Street in San Francisco. ‘Beat Generation icon Neal Cassady and his love Natalie Jackson on Market Street in San Francisco in March 1955.’ Text written by Allen Ginsberg.

Ken Kesey’s ‘Further’ Bus at Gas Station 1964


Allen Ginsberg, Corbis,