Home » A People’s Queering of 20th Century Counter Culture » Kenneth Rexroth and The Beats

Kenneth Rexroth and The Beats

Rexroth reciting his poetry along with Jazz

Rexroth reciting his poetry along with Jazz

The Beats flourished in San Francisco. It was San Francisco columnist, Herb Caen, who coined the term “beatnik.” Alan Ginsberg moved to San Francisco to be close to Neal Cassady, who accompanied Jack Kerouac on his cross-country trips and heavily inspired “On The Road.” Kenneth Rexroth was an Anarcho-pacifist poet who was a conscientious objector during WWII. Rexroth held Friday night parties that were attended by poets and artists from all around the Bay.When Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl” was banned from the mail on the grounds of obscenity, Rexroth testified at the trial that the poem had literary merit. Ginsberg, along with his publisher  Lawrence Ferlinghetti, were victorious in the trials, which sparked the San Francisco Renaissance.


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