In celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s birthday week, here are two recordings featuring Ginsberg from the PEN America Archives. Consisting of over 1800 hours of audio and video material, the PEN America Archives showcase the intersection of literature and free expression through the voices of some of the most prominent writers, intellectuals, and activists from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and in collaboration with Princeton University, the archives not only illustrate the institutional trajectory of PEN America, but also highlight the voices and words of poets, essayists, novelists, and others who resist the infringement of free expression. The entirety of the PEN America Archives will be made available online to the public this summer.

Allen Ginsberg Sings at the 1986 PEN International Congress

At the Prose and Poetry Reading session of the 1986 PEN International Congress, Allen Ginsberg initiates his readers in the tradition of the great and ancient poets, such as Sappho, that came before him.

Allen Ginsberg Reads “Mind Writing Slogans”

Allen Ginsberg formulates the basic principles of Modern/Post-Modern/Beat/Open-Form poetics from those who influenced him most in the ars-poetica piece “Mind Writing Slogans.”