The Museum of American Poetics

About Us



The idea for the Museum of American Poetics (MAP) began upon the death of American poet Allen Ginsberg on April 5, 1997. Jim Cohn, a poet and former teaching assistant to Mr. Ginsberg at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, had a dream the night Ginsberg died that much of the wisdom and compassion found in the growingly diverse demotic lineages of U.S. poetry would be dissipated under the influx of the Big Data Age. Since coming online in 1997, MAP has documented major poetic international, diversity, and media trends through its collection of twenty-one poetry exhibits; its archive of annual Napalm Health Spa poetry journals (1990-2014); the lineage of poetics transmissions focused on 1) 20th century schools of poetic thought leading to and emanating from the Beat Generation, and 2) 21st century Postbeat activist scholarship by and about the leading after-the-beats poets directly influenced by Ginsberg and associated poets before them; featured MAP Channel video presentations; and the MAP Store where visitors may purchase literary rarity gems. MAP also features a “What’s New” page that logs additions over time, an exhaustive site map, and links to Internet Archive which provide documentation of MAP’s development of webpages via snapshots taken since its inception. A June 22, 2000 New York Times brief on MAP resulted in the grassroots site gaining an audience that helped it become one of the most significant platforms for American poetry outside the institutional poesy world. Celebrating the diversity of experimental, outrider, and signed poetries with a spotlight on the Postbeats, MAP places special emphasis on poets working on the front lines against oppression. Dedicated to the energy and vitality that characterizes the distinct shapeliness of ars poetica, the mission of the Museum of American Poetics is to reflect the persistent, lucid, investigative spirit of bards and their contribution of American language arts to planetary consciousness.