In October 1957, American poet Allen Ginsberg was hanging out in Amsterdam jazz cafes. At the same time in San Francisco, a Federal Court judge ruled that his poem "Howl" was not obscene. The work became a rallying cry for the movement known as the Beat Generation with its famous opening line: "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness..."
Fifty years later, with more than a million copies in print, Howl continues to inspire artists and activists. David Swatling of Radio Netheralnds explores the origins of one of the most celebrated and controversial poems of the 20th century and discovers its striking relevance to the world today.
Angel-Headed Hipster's Howl airs 7 p.m. on Monday, July 9 on KFAI.