I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by/ madness, starving hysterical naked,/ dragging themselves through the negro streets at/ dawn looking for an angry fix,/ angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient/ heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night …—Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”
When we went inside this week, we focused on national poetry month. The women requested working with the beat poets, figures like Allen Ginsberg, Anne Walden, and Jack Kerouac who in a effort to expand consciousness changed poetry and influenced generations of writers and other artists in popular culture.
Their intention was to shake up culture, change minds to change systems, freeing ideas, art, and people in the process. These notions are not only ideas for the women inside but imperatives. As you’ll see in the pieces that follow, the systems are as tangibly confining as the walls of the prison. The system – the structured ideas that build the walls, the doors, the bars and fences. These two voices urge us to alter our ideas, the systems, so the walls may come down and hope and everything else is free. Continue reading