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Beat poet Philip Whalen, 78, dies

Beat poet Philip Whalen, 78, dies reports that Beat poet Philip Whalen died June 26 at age 78 of heart and brain illnesses. Whalen was one of the readers at the Six Gallery on October 7, 1955, the night that gay pioneer Allen Ginsberg first read "Howl." Considered one of the pioneering forces behind the San Francisco Beat poetry scene of the mid 1950s (along with Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and others), Whalen was later ordained a Zen Buddhist monk and eventually became the abbot of the Hartford Street Zen Center in Santa Fe, N.M. His books include Canoeing Up Cabarga Creek: Buddhist Poems 1955-1986 and Enough Said: 1974-1979.

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