It was in October of 1955 at a gallery in San Francisco where Allen Ginsberg and several other poets first read Howl!, Ginsberg’s seminal poem. Since 2003, the tradition has lived on in the East Village at the Howl! Festival, which kicks off June 1 at 4:30 with a group reading led by poet Bob Holman in Tompkins Square Park. The festival continues all weekend in the park with highlights including a performance by the butoh dance company Vangeline Theater on Saturday at 4 and on Sunday at 5, “Low Life 6: East Village Others,” an homage to downtown’s cherished provocateurs including Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis, film and performance pioneer Jack Smith, and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

June 1-3, 2012