We Got the Beat: On the L.E.S., the Spirit of Ginsberg Lives


Fifty years ago, Allen Ginsberg sent a poison arrow into the heart of conformity with his epic poem “Howl.” Read it before you go to bed tonight. Then show up at the Federation of East Village Artist’s (FEVA) 3rd Annual Howl Festival and revel in the diversity and miraculous madness that proliferate in one of New York City’s remaining wildlife refuges, the Lower East Side. The list of performers, poets, musicians, readings, workshops, and events is too studded with sequins to name just a few, but a short list of “What Would Allen Do” might suffice. He’d hit the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Tompkins Square Park for sure, and it’s probably safe to say he’d check out Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson at Joe’s Pub. We’re almost sure he’d wander into Karen Finley’s performance piece on Terri Schiavo at Bowery Poetry Club and scour Counter Convention, the RNC documentary at the Pioneer Theater, for the faces of fellow protesters. Undoubtedly, the Semi-Nude Drawing sessions in Tompkins Square Park would delight the poet, as would the daily readings of the poem from which the festival takes its name. A full listing of the grand cacophony of events (many of them free of charge) can be found at