An outspoken member of the beat generation, Ginsberg is best known for Howl (1956), a long poem attacking the American values of the 1950s. The prose of Jack Kerouac, the insights of Zen Buddhism, and the free verse of Walt Whitman were sources for Ginsberg's quest to glorify everyday experience.
His volumes of poetry include Kaddish and Other Poems, 1958–60 (1961), Collected Poems (1984), and White Shroud: Poems 1980–85 (1989). Allen Verbatim (1974) is a collection of lectures.
See biography by Barry Miles (1989); study by Thomas F. Merril (1988).