Howl and Other Poems
Publication Date: January 2001
List Price: $12.95*
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The prophetic poem that launched a generation when it was first published in 1965 is here presented in a commemorative fortieth Anniversary Edition.
When the book arrived from its British printers, it was seized almost immediately by U.S. Customs, and shortly thereafter the San Francisco police arrested its publisher and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, together with City Lights Bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao. The two of them were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case went to trial in the municipal court of Judge Clayton Horn. A parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses persuaded the judge that the title poem was indeed not obscene and that it had redeeming social significance.
Thus was Howl & Other Poems freed to become the single most influential poetic work of the post-World War II era, with over 900,000 copies now in print.
William Carlos Williams (1883 1963), author of Paterson and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Pictures from Brueghel, is widely considered one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. Also a short-story writer, novelist, essayist, and translator, he helped in a big way to establish modernism in America.