Lithub: Read from Allen Ginsberg's Cuba Journals


Iron Curtail Journals (Allen Ginsberg)By the end of 1964, when he received an invitation from Cuba’s minister of culture to participate in a writers’ conference in Havana, Allen Ginsberg had devoted a large block of his life to living in and exploring countries outside the United States. He’d lived in Mexico for several months in 1954, spending most of his time examining the Mayan ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula.


Then, three years later, following the publication of “Howl” and establishing his reputation as a major young poet, he was off to Europe, where he settled in Paris but visited Spain, Italy, and England, among other countries, over a two-year stretch. In 1960, after participating in a conference in Chile, he spent months wandering all over South America, including an extended stay in Peru, where he explored Machu Picchu and searched the Amazon region for the powerful hallucinogenic drug ayahuasca, a consciousness-altering substance recommended by his friend and former mentor William S. Burroughs.


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