Sunday, September 9, 2018

Curation #136 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

Item #136 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this undated City Lights Books edition (no printing number) of Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems. 57 pages, it measures about 4-3/4" x 6-1/4" and is in very good condition. The provenance is uncertain.

First published in 1956, the poem "Howl" needs no introduction to regular readers of The Daily Beat. It is arguably Ginsberg's most famous, if not best, poem. Epic in length and content, you can read it here. The subject of a 2010 Hollywood movie starring James Franco, Howl was subject to a famous obscenity trial and ruled not obscene in 1957. Ginsberg first read this poem at the famous Six Gallery Reading in San Francisco on October 7, 1955.

This edition has an intro by William Carlos Williams, the poems "Howl" and "Footnote to Howl," and 9 other vintage Ginsberg poems. I don't know why City Lights didn't include a publication date (the title page shows only the original copyright dates of 1956 and 1959).

Like Kaddish and Other Poems, this Ginsberg tour de force belongs on your Kerouac bookshelf.

Or, buy it directly from the publisher here.

Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (you can't see it in the picture because it is pushed back and hidden between Kaddish and Women) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Women by Charles Bukowski.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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