Until now, the poet Peter Orlovsky, who was Allen Ginsberg’s lover for more than forty years, has been the neglected member of the Beat Generation. Because he lived in Ginsberg’s shadow, his achievements were seldom noted and his contributions to literature have not been fully recognised. Now, this first collection of Orlovsky’s writings traces his fascinating life in his own words. It also tells, for the first time, the intimate story of his relationship with Ginsberg. Drawn from previously unpublished journals, correspondence, photographs and poems, Peter Orlovsky, a Life in Words, begins as Orlovsky is discharged from the Army; follows the young man through years of self-doubt and details his first meeting with Ginsberg in San Francisco from his own perspective. In never-before-heard detail, Orlovsky describes his travels around the world with Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs and Corso. The book also delves into the contradictions that ultimately defined him: best known as Ginsberg’s lover, Orlovsky was heterosexual and always longed to be with women; his spirit was prescient of the flower children of the sixties – especially his inclinations toward devotion and love – but in the end his use of drugs took its toll on his body and mind, silencing one of the most original and inspiring voices of his generation.