The Boston Phoenix
July 17 - 24, 1997

[Allen Ginsburg] Allen Ginsberg's



WFNX (101.7 FM)


Friday, July 18

A joint project by the Boston Phoenix and WFNX radio

the poem

Allen Ginsburg photos
by Elsa Dorfman

Reading Howl

Public authorities have tried to censor Howl since it was first published in the mid-1950s. As it became a modern classic, attempts to interfere with its publication and distribution faded. But federal regulations still severely restrict the hours during which the poem can be broadcast.

The July 18 presentation of Howl at 6 p.m. by WFNX 101.7 FM marks the first time in almost 20 years years that an audience in the United States will enjoy a radio performance of Ginsberg's historic work during prime broadcast hours.

This special version of the poem was recorded in May at the Boston Phoenix/ WFNX Best Music Poll festival, as part of a larger spoken-word tribute to Ginsberg and his work.

The 13 readers who performed Howl that night represent a cross-section of Boston's creative community. The melding of their interpretations of Ginsberg's work bears testimony to its wide appeal and enduring relevance.

The readers, in the order of their appearance, are:

Louisa Solano
Robert Pinsky
Peter Wolf
William Corbett
Jim Dunn
Willie Alexander
Gail Mazur
Stephen Mindich
jawn p.
Frank Bidart
Patricia Smith
Lloyd Schwartz
Charles Shively


Allen Ginsberg was born a Jew and died a Buddhist. The journey between was truly "a strange and wonderful trip." For Jews, the number 18 has special significance: it symbolizes life. So it is appropriate that the Boston Phoenix/WFNX broadcast of Howl be presented on July 18. Ginsberg's flesh may be gone, but his work lives. Joining to help celebrate his spirit during the 'FNX broadcast -- hosted by 'FNX news director Henry Santoro and produced by Meghan Goldstein -- are:

Harvey Silverglate
Joe Perry
Dave Herlihy
Robert Creeley
Gary Snyder
Lydia Lunch
Jim Carroll
Richard Hell
Anne Waldman
Ed Sanders
Elsa Dorfman

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