August Research Update

At the end of last semester, I complied a list of critical texts that would underscore the claims I plan to make in my thesis. Along with biographical works about Ginsberg and Coltrane, these works focus on the social and literary circumstances from which the Beats emerged. As expected, I’ve found that all of these…
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July Research Update

After conducting primary source research in New York and California, I’m in the process of scouring critical works and compilations to find out what works will really be at the center of my thesis. Originally, I had thought that I would focus almost solely on Ginsberg’s “Howl” and Coltranes “A Love Supreme”. However, after beginning…
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June Research Update

    This month, while working my way through the complete collected poems of Allen Ginsberg and John Coltrane’s discography, I was able to travel to New York City to look through primary sources related to Ginsberg in two prominent institutions: the New York Public Library and Columbia University.  At the NYPL, I examined materials in…
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Berkeley Research Update

I’ve begun the research that will underscore my thesis’s conclusions. Over this past Spring Break, I conducted research in the University of California Berkeley’s Bancroft Library Special Collections. The City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco was a central hub from which Beat poets and other important figures operated. In fact, the pocket version of Howl…
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Abstract: Performing the Spiritual in Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

The connections between jazz and Beat poetry stand out as defining aspects of counterculture in discussions of the transformative culture of the 1950s and 1960s. In his classic novel On the Road, Jack Kerouac made clear the connections between his writerly aesthetics and jazz, and other writers like Norman Mailer and John Clellon Holmes celebrated…
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