Kim Addonizio has been called “one of our nation’s most provocative and edgy poets.” Her latest books are Lucifer at the Starlite, a finalist for the Poets Prize and the Northern CA Book Award; and Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, both from W.W. Norton. Her novel-in-verse, Jimmy & Rita, was recently reissued by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Addonizio’s many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and essay. Her collection Tell Me was a National Book Award Finalist. Other books include two novels from Simon & Schuster, Little Beauties and My Dreams Out in the Street. Addonizio offers private workshops in Oakland, CA, and online, and often incorporates her love of blues harmonica into her readings.
Howl, and Other Poems, by Allen Ginsberg, was first published in 1956 by City Lights, and is the 4th book in the Pocket Poets series. The epigraph for Howl is from Walt Whitman: “Unscrew the locks from the doors!/Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!” Announcing his intentions with this ringing motto, Allen Ginsberg published a volume of poetry which broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This work’s seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz’s poetic tribute to Ginsberg: “Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality”.