NEW YORK, June 14, 2008 - Prompted by Deborah Baker's book A Blue Hand: The Beats in India (Penguin Press, 2008), Asia Society's symposium "The Beats in India" focused on the Indian journeys of the Beats in the 1960s. Vivid poetry readings alternated with panel discussions exploring what drew Allen Ginsberg and his fellow Beats to India, and how that generation of writers inspired, and continues to inspire, successive generations of Westerners to turn to the East for spiritual and creative inspiration.
Participants in the day-long event included Allen Ginsberg's fellow travelers and poets Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger, poets Sunil Gangopadhyay, John Giorno, Anne Waldman, and Ed Sanders, musician Steven Taylor, and authors Deborah Baker, Pankaj Mishra, Eliot Weinberger, Gita Mehta, and Bill Morgan.
The above slideshow documents Ginsberg's extended stay in Benares, India, in February 1963.
The Beats in India symposium page (summary, audio excerpts, and video link)