On October 7th, 1955, a little known poet called Allen Ginsberg premiered a new long poem in the Six Gallery in San Francisco. "Howl", penned in the shadow of the Cold War, would cause a sensation among the crowd that gathered that evening. It would not be long before the poem's impact spread far beyond the confines of the Bay Area literary scene to a national and international readership. Within a year, "Howl" would be published by famed independent publisher City Lights. In the decades that followed, the piece would become possibly the most influential poem in American culture, certainly the most widely read. Ginsberg's masterpiece is a cornerstone of the dynamic and radical literature produced by the so-called Beat Generation and its resonance is still felt today. In "Howl for Now", academics, commentators and practitioners reflect on the power of "Howl", half a century on from Ginsberg's historic first reading, through a series of essays and interviews. Poet David Meltzer reflects on the San Francisco scene in the mid-1950s, Ginsberg collaborator Steven Taylor offers a personal memoir, film director Ronald Nameth and rock composer Bill Nelson contemplate a documentary version of "Howl", and members of the University of Leeds, in the UK, consider the political, cultural and aesthetic place of the poem as both a social document and a point of contemporary inspiration.