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A screening of "Howl," a 2010 American experimental film that explores the 1957 obscenity trial of 20th century American poet Allen Ginsberg's noted poem "Howl," is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at the Backdoor Playhouse.

thumb_Tony_Trigilio-high-res2Tony Trigilio

The film reconstructs the early life of Ginsberg, played by James Franco, during the 1940s and 1950s and is in black-and-white. It also reenacts Ginsberg's debut performance of "Howl" at the Six Gallery Reading in 1955. The reading was the first important public manifestation of the Beat Generation and helped to herald the West Coast Literary Revolution, which became known as the San Francisco Renaissance.

Additionally, the film showcases color images of the 1957 obscenity trial of San Francisco poet and City Lights Bookstore co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who was the first person to publish "Howl" in Howl and Other Poems.

Howl is a critically-acclaimed film with positive reviews by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe.

Poet and Ginsberg scholar Tony Trigilio will introduce the film screening with a reading and lecture.

Trigilio is the author of two poetry collections, "Historic Diary" and the "Lama's English Lessons." He has written three chapbooks, "With Memory," "Which is Enormous," "Make a Joke and I will sigh and you Will Laugh and I Will Cry." And he has authored two books of criticism, Allen Ginsberg's Buddhist Poetics and Strange Prophecies Anew. He co-edited the anthology, Visions and Divisions: American Immigration Literature, and he is a member of the Core Poetry Faculty at Columbia College Chicago and co-edits the literary journal Court Green.

On March 25, Trigilio will lecture to a TTU American literature class about his new book of poems "Historic Diary" dealing with the John F. Kennedy assassination. The lecture will be in the STEM Center Ray Morris Hall Auditorium, and he will teach a creative writing workshop in Henderson Hall 318D at 2 p.m.

This "Meditation and Poetics" workshop will fuse creative writing and meditation to generate new angles of vision in engagements with the everyday world. No prior experience with meditation is necessary.

These events are sponsored by Center Stage and are free and open to the public. A reception will precede the Thursday screening at 6 p.m. For more information please contact Tech English Instructor Andrew Smith at or 931-372-6371.