It's 1944, and future Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg is studying at Columbia University. At school, he catches Lucien Carr's eye, a rebellious revolutionary who finds power in the written word. The two fight and flirt over poetry and prose, a dangerous attraction growing between these two young men. Together they strike up friendships with writers William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, planting the seeds for the rise of the Beat Generation. But when Carr's former lover, David Krammer, returns to steal him away from Ginsberg, a taut struggle breaks out. When Krammer turns up dead, Kerouac, Burroughs and Carr are all arrested as suspects in his murder and the lives of these young men will never be the same.