“I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd": The Howl and Other Poems; Signed by Allen Ginsberg
Howl and Other Poems.
Item Number: 52001
San Francisco: City Lights, 1956.
First edition, sixth printing of Howl, of this principal work of the Beat Generation. Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. In very good condition. Signed by Allen Ginsberg in a contemporary hand. Introduction by William Carlos Williams.
Howl and Other Poems is a collection of poetry by Allen Ginsberg published November 1, 1956. It contains Ginsberg's most famous poem, "Howl", which is considered to be one of the principal works of the Beat Generation as well as "A Supermarket in California", "Transcription of Organ Music", "Sunflower Sutra", "America", "In the Baggage Room at Greyhound", and some of his earlier works. For printing the collection, the publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, another well-known poet, was arrested and charged with obscenity. On October 3, 1957, Judge Clayton W. Horn found Ferlinghetti not guilty of the obscenity charge, and 5,000 more copies of the text were printed to meet the public demand, which had risen in response to the publicity surrounding the trial. "Howl and Other Poems" contains two of the most well-known poems from the Beat Generation, "Howl" and "A Supermarket in California", which have been reprinted in other collections, including the Norton Anthology of American Literature.
Other Books by this Author
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen presented some of their latest works. They were introduced by Kenneth Rexroth, who was a kind of literary father-figure for the younger poets. It was at this reading that Allen Ginsberg performed the piece in public, which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” The exuberant audience included Neal Cassady, who passed around the wine jug and a collection plate and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who refused to read his own work but cheered the other poets on, and later wrote an account in his novel The Dharma Bums. He fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg’s stand-in in the novel) was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ (‘Howl’) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’” Also in attendance was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who telegrammed Ginsberg the following day offering to publish his work, saying ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” He published in 1956 through his City Lights Press, but customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene. Ferlinghetti and his store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were acquitted of the obscenity charges in October 1957. The title page is signed by Allen Ginsberg, with the signature and a note by Marthe Rexroth, which reads, “I cranked the ditto master at S F State the first time around -and! was at the reading.” On the verso of the title, McClure has written the lengthy note, “This first long poem of Allen’s was read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. I was 22 years old and gave my first reading also that night. I read a poem titled FOR THE DEATHS OF 100 WHALES and other poems of nature and new consciousness. Our co-readers that night were Whalen, Snyder, & Lamantia. Kenneth Rexroth was M.C. I met Jack Kerouac that night. The group of us – minus Lamantia – read again in Berkeley, March 1956, on a rainy evening. It was a fine evening for poetry and I remember my pleasure in Allen’s comic ‘America’. I read mostly from a huge notebook of experimental poems of consciousness. Michael McClure.” On the dedication page are the signatures of Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an inscription by David Meltzer: ” When Allen first read Kaddish in SF, I read too. I was 22.” Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 20 inches by 26 inches, with an opening in the back of the frame to view McClure’s statement. Only one other similar printing of this edition has surfaced, which fetched $118,750 at auction in 2013, although this copy did include all of the pages. An exceptionally rare item of this important work and cornerstone to American thought and culture.
New York: McGraw-Hill Company, 1974.
First edition. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “See paperback version for textual corrections Signed for Richard Lautz Nov 2 1978 La Salle, Phila Pa Allen Ginsberg.” Very good in a very good dust jacket. Edited by Gordon Ball.
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1977.
First edition. Small octavo, original wrappers. Signed by the author on the title page, “Allen Ginsberg 1984 Philadelphia April 28.” Ginsberg has also initialed “AH” above his name. In near fine condition.
New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1984.
First edition. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by the author on the title page, “Allen Ginsberg 1985 and initials AH New York.” Fine in a fine dust jacket.
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1961.
First edition, later printing. Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. Inscribed by the author on the title page, “For Richard Lautz with thanks for hospitality Allen Ginsberg LaSalle Nov. 2, 1978.” Ginsberg has added a large drawing opposite his inscription and initials. In very good condition, with the recipients notes throughout the text.
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1972.
First edition, early printing. Small octavo, original wrappers. Inscribed by Allen Ginsberg on the title page. In near fine condition.
“Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia": First Edition of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Signed by Him
London: Geoffrey Bles, 1950.
First edition of the first work in Lewis’ acclaimed Narnia series. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by C.S. Lewis on the front free endpaper. Light rubbing, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with some professional restoration. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes. First editions signed by Lewis are rare.
“IT IS MY PLAN TO CREATE A CITY THAT IS DIRECT AND SIMPLE... TO LEAVE OUT ALL THAT IS UGLY, TO ELIMINATE THE UNNECESSARY, AND TO GIVE FLORIDA AND THE NATION A RESORT CITY AS PERFECT AS STUDY AND IDEALS CAN MAKE IT”: FIRST EDITION OF FLORIDA ARCHITECTURE OF ADDISON MIZNER; Signed by Him
New York: William Helburn, Inc, 1928.
First edition. Edition of 100 signed numbered copies by Addison Mizner. Folio, bound in full red morocco, raised bands, gilt titles and elaborate tooling to the spine and front panel, marbled endpapers. Illustrated with 184 black and white photogravure plates. In near fine condition with only light rubbing.
New York: Random House, 1971.
First edition of author’s first book, a collection of his late 1960’s magazine pieces. Octavo, original black cloth. Signed by Woody Allen on the title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with some slight sunning to the spine. A sharp example.
"Stop worrying about growing old. And think about growing up": First Edition of The Dying Animal; Signed by Philip Roth
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
First Edition. Octavo. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Signed by the author on the title page. Basis for the motion picture “Elegy” starring Ben Kingsley as David Kapesh.