In New York: Howl Becomes a Hoot

Night, the hour of poets, on a windy street in the part of New York City where academe meets Harlem. Outside a nondescript building, a man calls to an acquaintance. The second replies, "Allen Ginsberg reading Howl? It's tempting, but . . ." He walks on.

Inside McMillin Theater at Columbia University, an audience of about 900 assembles. Most appear to be younger than the poem they are to hear. A few are bearded hippies loyal to the Movement. A few are enervated, gentle, Buddhistic Wasps. A handful are black. All around are flannel...

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