Michael McClure

"HOWL was the trigger (for the Sixties) Afterwards none of us could step back and say, 'I didn't mean it.' It was just too fuckin frightening out there. . .I think Allen Ginsberg standing up there reading - putting himself on the line - was one of the two bravest things I've ever seen. Remember, it was '55. People had crew cuts, and they looked at you like you were misplaced cannon fodder. The country was being run by Luce publications. It was a dangerous, cold, ugly time, and it was scary. . .

In all our memories no one had been so outspoken in poetry before. We had gone beyond a point of no return. None of us wanted to go back to the grey, chill, militaristic silence, to the intellectual void - to the land without poetry - to the spiritual drabness. We wanted to make it new and we wanted to invent it and the process of it as we went into it. We wanted voice and we wanted vision."

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