This new photo book captures the glory days of the Beat Generation

It’s been around sixty years since Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima and their literary contemporaries made history after their works, which were influenced by American culture and politics in the post-WWII era, were published and popularised in the Beat Movement of the 1950s. And the influence of the Beat Generation resounds in late-twentieth and twenty-first-century counterculture and remains very much alive to this day.

Writers Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Barney Rossett owner of the publishing house Grove Press in Washington Square Park. All photos: Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos

A new photo book showcasing the largely unseen work of Burt Glinn captures the glory days of the Beat Generation.

In a new book from UK-based publishers Reel Art Press, renowned photographer Burt Glinn provides an in-depth and personal look into the epicentre of the movement, with a comprehensive and largely unseen collection of images that captured the spirit of the Beat Generation.

Burt Glinn’s untouched treasure trove of images was discovered when Reel Art Press was working with Glinn’s widow, Elena, on a larger retrospective of his work. The book features both black and white shots, and over 70 images in colour. An extremely rare find, these photographs manage to capture the raw energy of the Beat Generation in a way that has never been seen before in print.

Shot between 1957 and 1960 in New York and San Francisco, the photographs feature nearly everyone involved in the scene. Archived with the negatives was a short essay by Jack Kerouac entitled And This Is The Beat Nightlife of New York, which is published alongside the photographs.

Burt Glinn’s impressive career spanned more than fifty years. Self-taught, he worked for Life magazine in the late 1940s before going freelance. He joined Magnum photos in 1951 – one of the first Americans to do so – and eventually served as its president in the 1970s and again in the 1980s.

Not only did he captured the ins and outs of the Beat scene, he was there to snap other crucial moments in world history, including the Sinai War in 1956, the US Marine invasion of Lebanon in 1958, the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign.

Check out some of the photos below.

Beat poet Hugh Romney reads poetry at the White Horse Tavern
Recording Session in MEA Studios. Vincent Delgado is playing a Japanese Shamisen. Alan Watts is reading on the and Henry Jacobs, one of the partners of MEA is sitting inside the horn
Up these stairs, the entrance of the Seven Arts Coffee Gallery, climb the night-reading poets and their public. Poetry is read until the early hours of the morning
A chess interlude during a break in the revelry at the Blackhawk, a night spot on the corner of Turk and Hyde Street where eminent jazz performers are often to be found in action. The player making the move here is Earl Bostic

[via Another Man Mag]