Included writers:

Richard Brautigan
Charles Bukowski
William S. Burroughs
Neal Cassady
Gregory Corso
Robert Creeley
Diane di Prima
Robert Duncan
William Everson
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Allen Ginsberg
John Clellon Holmes
LeRoi Jones
Bob Kaufman
Jack Kerouac
Ken Kesey
Philip Lamantia
Denise Levertov
Michael McClure
Frank O'Hara
Peter Orlovsky
Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Rexroth
Gary Snyder
Anne Waldman
Lew Welch
Philip Whalen
William Carlos Williams

More to come...


Choose from the links at the left to read brief biographies and included works from several writers of the Beat Generation.

Allen GinsbergThe Beats' identity has as much to do with literary aesthetics as with their collective biography. Their intertwining lives provided a basis for Beat literature, and this can be seen in the work of William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. They transformed the details of every-day life, snatches of remembered conversations, and personal friends into highly idiosyncratic narratives that sometimes seemed to have been dictated from an uncensored consciousness. Burroughs narrated his first years of heroin addiction using a dry, spare "Factualist" voice in Junky and a nightmarish black comic voice in Naked Lunch. In a series of sometimes Benzedrine-driven or marijuana-inspired writing bouts, Kerouac set down in "spontaneous bop prosody" the picaresque narrative of his life. His writing marathons resulted not only in his most famous novel, On The Road, but in the continuing epic of his life that he called "the Legend of Duluoz." In his notable and notorious poem "Howl", Ginsberg created the epic apologia of his generation. The lives, the legend, and the literature begin to fuse.

The Beat fraternity, forged a decade before the world began to glamourize it, provided their entry into the world of writing. The intimate circle was both subject matter and audience - and, because autobiography was transformed into art, the fictional characters have lived on long after their prototypes died. This collective of characters, both fictional and real, exemplifies a pivotal paradigm in twentieth-century American literature: finding the highest spirituality among the marginal and the dispossessed, establishing the links between art and pathology, and seeking truth in visions, dreams, and other non-rational states.

The Beats were not the first Americans to revolt against literary tradition, nor were they the first to entwine their lives and their art. Like their avant-garde forebears, who experimented in every arena from dress to drugs to politics to sex, the Beats conducted their lives in a state of countercultural experiment.*

I'll be adding many more writers from this period as I gather their information and examples of their work. If there is a writer you'd like to see included on the Beat Page, just e-mail your request.

Some of the material in these pages has been gathered from a variety of sources, including the Internet. If something here is inaccurate, please let me know. If anything on these pages is in violation of any copyright or trademark laws, please let me know and it will be removed or amended immediately. The material is offered here as a show of appreciation for a generation of great writers and to enlighten others to their work. This page is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.

Note: If you're interested in linking to The Beat Page go here.

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*From "The Birth of the Beat Generation: Visionaries, Rebels, and Hipsters, 1944-1960" by Steven Watson. Copyright 1995