From Auraria's Archives: Allen Ginsberg's Postcards to Ed White
Before he restored landmarks like the Molly Brown House, Ninth Street Historic Park and Four Mile House Historic Park, and designed some landmarks of his own, architect Ed White was a student at Columbia, where he met many of the people who would become famous figures of the Beat generation, including Jack Kerouac, who turned White into Tim Gray in On the Road, and iconic poet Allen Ginsberg. White had already met Neal Cassady before Columbia; both he and Cassady are East High School alumni.
Allen Ginsberg and Ed White in front of the Denver Botanic Gardens Conservatory.
White and Ginsberg maintained a relationship that spanned decades, as evidenced by postcards from Ginsberg that are now in Auraria's collection of White's papers.
One day a student, an admirer of Ginsberg, came to the archives and told archivist Rosemary Evetts that she wanted to look at the postcards, which are part of Auraria's vast collection. The student was starstruck when she saw the postcards written in Ginsberg's hand; that kind of reverence for history is both energizing and contagious. After all, these postcards are actual evidence of a person's existence on the planet, right down to the smudges in the ink.
The collection contains just two of Ginsberg's postcards. Go to the next page to read the transcripts.
Photo by Shaughnessy Speirs