A Geographical Tour of Literary America

The Grand Tour of Literary Landmarks resulted from my students' success with another project that we called "Poetic License with THE AMAZING RACE." This new journey also begins and ends in my students' hometown. Chosen writers are specific to our curriculum and texts; however, teachers can adapt new selections to their students' needs. Side images are their original work. Photo images at each destination go directly to official sites or to the slideshows of my own travel photos. The main sources of written material here are www.Poets.org and Adventures in American Literature, Heritage Edition and Pegasus Edition.

Berkeley, California

On the literary map, travel from San Francisco to Berkeley, California.


# _____________ Miles to Berkeley, California.

$ _____________ Cost for Gasoline to Berkeley, California.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed
by madness, starving hysterical
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"

Read A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets at www.Poets.org and fill-in-the-blanks.

"Beat poetry evolved during the _______ in both New York City and on the west coast, although _________________ became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning _________________________________."

"These poets would become known as the ___________ generation, a group of writers interested in changing consciousness and defying conventional writing."

"The battle against social conformity and literary tradition was central to the work of the Beats. Among this group of poets, hallucinogenic drugs were used to achieve higher consciousness, as was meditation and Eastern religion. Buddhism especially was important to many of the Beat poets; Gary Snyder and _________________ both intensely studied this religion and it figured into much of their work."

"Allen Ginsberg's first book _____________________________ is often considered representative of the Beat poets. In 1956 Lawrence Ferlinghetti's press City Lights published Howl and Ferlinghetti was brought to trial the next year on charges of __________. In a hugely publicized case, the judge ruled that Howl was not obscene and brought national attention to Ginsberg and the Beat poets."

"Besides publishing the Pocket Poets Series, Ferlinghetti also founded the legendary San Francisco bookstore _____________. Still in operation today, it is an important landmark of Beat generation history. Several of the surrounding streets have been renamed after Beat poets as well, commemorating their important contribution to the cultural landscape of San Francisco."