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Carl Solomon (March 30, 1928 - 1993) was an American writer. He was born in the Bronx of New York City. His father's death in 1939 had a profoundly negative effect on his early life. Solomon later said of the time, "I drifted into indiscipline and intellectual adventure that eventually became complete confusion." Graduating high school by age fifteen, Solomon then went onto the City College of New York for a short time before joining the United States Marines in 1944. In his travels overseas, Solomon became exposed to Surrealism and Dada, ideas that would inspire him later and throughout his life. In Paris, he witnessed Antonin Artaud give a screaming poetry reading -- this so impressed him that he would remain a disciple of Artaud for much of his life. It was shortly after this period that Carl Solomon was voluntarily institutionalized, meant as a Dadaist gesture of defeat.

It was in the mental hospital in New York Statemarker that he met Allen Ginsberg, who was there as an alternative to jail for confused involvement in some petty thefts. It was through Ginsberg that Solomon would gain his fame. Ginsberg later dedicated his poem "Howl" to Solomon, the third section of the poem addressed to Solomon by name. It uses the phrase "I am with you in Rockland" as a refrain to each line in that section. The first section of the poem immortalizes a few of Solomon's personal exploits, such as the line, "...who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harleqquin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy".

The friendship between Ginsberg and Solomon that was formed in the asylum lasted until the two were very old men. During their institutionalized time together, they discussed literature, among many other things, and wrote wildly whimsical unsent letters to some of the public figures of the day.

One of Solomon's most well-known pieces of writing is Report from the Asylum: Afterthoughts of a Shock Patient. It is an account of shock-therapy treatment used to treat patients in asylums, drawn directly from personal experience. It was written with Antonin Artaud somewhat in mind, because he had received the same treatment himself, when he was unjustly institutionalized by the French government. This piece was included in the 50th-anniversary "Howl" fascimile, as part of an appendix.

In the late 1960s, Solomon published two chapbooks of prose poems with City Lights Booksmarker: Mishaps, Perhaps and More Mishaps. Emergency Messages (published in 1989), features selections from the two books, along with some of Solomon's other autobiographical, critical and poetic writings. During his life, Solomon was also a frequent contributor to New Directions Annual, American Book Review, and The New Leader.

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