Table of Contents

So to Speak podcast: The fight to publish Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.”

So begins Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl.” You might be familiar with Allen Ginsberg. You might be familiar with the poem. But chances are you don’t know about the efforts in San Francisco in 1957 to censor the poem.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we discuss those efforts with distinguished First Amendment scholar and recurring So to Speak guest Ronald K.L. Collins. He is the co-author, with David M. Skover, of the new book, “The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL,” which recounts the story behind the publication of “Howl” and the courageous fight against its censorship.

Show notes:

You can subscribe and listen to So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher, or download episodes directly from SoundCloud.

Stay up to date with So to Speak on the show’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and subscribe to the show’s newsletter at

Have questions or ideas for future shows? Email us at

Recent Articles

FIRE’s award-winning Newsdesk covers the free speech news you need to stay informed.