HOWL (1955)
This poem, written by Allen Ginsburg, faced a lot of problems with censorship due to its coarse language and descriptions of drug use and sex. Despite facing obscenity charges, the poem was ruled to have educational value, due to it’s calling attention to societal problems of the time.
I chose to work with this poem for my book design because I love banned books, and I knew I could use creative typography to capture the mania and anguish expressed in Howl.
Due to the content of the poem, I could design for an adult audience.
Because of this, I can trust my readers to understand more experimental choices. The book begins with a strict grid, which slowly devolves into chaos as the poem progresses into madness.
The book will is 7in x7in, in a square format, hand bound and printed on neon paper, with a case to conceal the contents inside, referencing Howl's banned status.
Through my work, I hope to spark conversations surrounding countercultural literature as well as call into the question the values that Ginsberg wrote about.
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