Two of the most influential poetry readings in history will be celebrating anniversaries this year. The Six Gallery reading in San Francisco introduced the world to the talents and visions of Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Michael McClure in 1955, kicking off poetry’s Beat Generation in the process.
Ten years later, a vast poetry extravaganza featuring Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso was held in London’s Royal Albert Hall. This shagadelic event spread Beat fever throughout England, and has been cited by many swinging Londoners as a key event in their country’s growing underground. Michael Horovitz, one of the principals of the 1965 reading, is organizing a 40th anniversary event at Royal Albert Hall, which will feature an impressive lineup including Pete Townshend and an outfit apparently called the William Blake Klezmatrix. More info here.