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Film: “The Poetry Deal” + “The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg”

National Poetry Month
Sunday, 4/21/2024
1:00 - 3:15
Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room A
Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room B
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Contact Telephone

In honor of National Poetry Month we screen documentaries about Allen Ginsberg and Diane Di Prima, renowned Beat poets who lived and worked in San Francisco.

The Poetry Deal: A Portrait of Poet Diane di Prima

The Poetry Deal opens a window looking back through more than 50 years of poetry, activism, and cultural change, providing a unique women’s perspective of the Beat movement. This impressionistic documentary presents the legendary poet Diane di Prima, the most famous female poet of the Beat Generation. Actively writing in San Francisco where she was Poet Laureate, di Prima was fierce, funny and philosophical. She was a pioneer who broke boundaries of class and gender to publish her writing; her friend Allen Ginsberg called her “heroic in life and poetics.”

Director: Melanie La Rosa

TV-14, 27 mins., 2011. Closed captions (CC) in English.


The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg

Visionary, radical, spiritual seeker, renowned poet, founding member of a major literary movement, champion of human rights, Buddhist, political activist and teacher – Allen Ginsberg’s remarkable life shaped the very soul of American counterculture. For 25 years, Academy Award-nominated director Jerry Aronson accumulated more than 60 hours of film on Allen Ginsberg, resulting in this comprehensive portrait of one of America’s greatest poets, author of Howl and other groundbreaking poems. Restored from the original 1994 release.

Director: Jerry Aronson

TV-14, 83 mins., 2005. Closed captions (CC) in English.

Watch party and film discussions. 

Programs designed to celebrate the art of the poem, including readings and talks.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

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The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.