There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
If you tote only one Allen Ginsberg–related 3-pounder in your weathered rucksack this year, make it I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg, by painter and archivist Bill Morgan. The bio’s release coincides with a number of Ginsberg collections, including a Morgan co-edited omnibus of early works and Harper Perennial’s 50th-anniversary edition of Howl. What I Celebrate Myself lacks in writerly panache it more than makes up for in sheer inclusion. Whether you’re a true believer in Ginsberg’s self-professed genius or have written his poetry off as a passing, adolescent fancy, you have to admit that his life was art itself. And it’s all here, parsed in large part from the poet’s own work and served up straight: his Freudian nightmare of a childhood, his unrequited crushes on nearly all of his beat contemporaries, his obsession with fame and recognition. It’s all almost mind-numbing, but Ginsberg probably would have approved of that effect. Morgan discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 418 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 638-7610. (Anne Marson)