The 1956 publication of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and Other Poems” and the publicity from the obscenity trial a year later, brought him great international fame as an American poet.
Because “Howl” contained references to illicit drugs and sex, publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti had them printed in England. On March 25, 1957, U.S. customs officials seized 520 copies of the poem, as they were being imported from the printer in London.
An obscenity trial was brought against Ferlinghetti. With nine literary experts testifying on the poem’s behalf and the legal support of the ACLU, Judge Clayton ruled that the poem was of “redeeming social importance.”
The documentary film “Howl” will make its east coast premiere as part of “Reel Pride Richmond’s 2nd Annual LGBT Film Festival, screening on November 5, 2010 at Center Stage.
James Franco is starring as the young Allen Ginsberg.
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]