John Palattella


    For thirty years, and with an admirable measure of tenacity and audacity, the poet Susan Howe has reanimated the lives of wayward pilgrims whose violent experiences of exile in spiritual wildernesses culminate in moments of searing revelation or sadistic repression. Her 1985 prose masterwork My Emily Dickinson (published first by North Atlantic Books and reissued this fall in a handsome new edition) depicts the poet and intellectual as the ultimate wayward pilgrim who rebelled against New England's sin-obsessed Calvinism and attained a fierce aesthetic and spiritual sovereignty, only to have

  • Peaches and Penumbras

    In 1968, Jane Kramer published a tender profile of Allen Ginsberg in the New Yorker, one that begins on a curious note. It's not the scene Kramer describes, a sparsely furnished apartment in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco where, on an evening in January of the previous year, the planning committee for a "Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In" is holding an eleventh-hour meeting. Nor is it the one remaining item on the agenda: Is the LSD evangelist Timothy Leary a poet, in which case he will be allowed seven minutes to speak, or is he a bona fide prophet and therefore entitled