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An impassioned audacity distinguishes the thirty writers represented in the rousing anthology of poetry from the great 20th-century countercultural literary movement. In combining art with an unapologetic antiestablishment zeal, the Beats gave birth to a literature of previously unimaginable expressive range, fomenting an artistic revolution.
The defining work of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac provides the foundation for this collection, which also features statements on Beat poetics, selections from the alternately ardent, incendiary, and earnest correspondence of Beat Generation writers, and the improvisational verse of such Beat legends as Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Gregory Corso, Denise Levertov, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Philip Whalen, Bob Kaufman, and Peter Orlovsky, along with the work of other women writers and the lesser-known poets of this school. Visceral and powerful, infused with an unmediated spiritual and social awareness, Beat Poets is a rich and varied tribute and—in the populist spirit of the Beats—a vital addition to the libraries of readers everywhere.