Volume 3, Issue 4, (Originally Published on Monday 25th March 2013)
March 25, 1957 – US Customs seizes Allen Ginsberg poetry – On this day in 1957, United States Customs seized copies of American poet Allen Ginsberg’s Howl on the grounds of obscenity. The poem, now considered a masterpiece of American literature, contains multiple references to homosexuality, illicit drugs and sexual practices. Customs seized the works as they were imported from the London printer, and the poem itself was subject to an obscenity trial later that year. Nine literary experts testified on the poem’s behalf at the trial, which subsequently overturned the imprisonment of a bookstore manager who had sold Howl and Other Poems to an undercover police officer.