For any collector interested in the birth of the American Avant-garde and the early Beat Generation; no library would be complete without an edition of Howl, by Allen Ginsburg. The immortal first lines ‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness’ are perhaps the salient echoes that summoned and captured the entire later Beat movement.
All Ginsburg was always a flamboyant and controversial figure – facts which make him both excellent and perversely difficult for collecting. One of the most advantageous results of his outrageous personality and disrespect for conventions means that other collectors somewhat avoid his works – meaning that there are many first editions which are still at a fairly low cost!
Thanks to his personality quirks, however, we have the opportunity to collect first editions of Ginsburg which are all uniquely signed. You can find his first edition printing of Howl and Other Poems (1961) inscribed personally to Carl Solomon, Jack Kerouac, and others of the Beat scene. If you are lucky, however, you may also be able to find the compendium Howl and Other Poems in its original ‘chapbook’ edition (1956) through City Lights Bookshop Series.
If you are looking for a true Allen Ginsburg at slightly more affordable prices, then consider possible Ginsburg’s second most popular work; Kaddish and Other Poems, whose work covers the period from 1958-60 (the height of the Beat era) but is much less known than its predecessor. Again, Kaddish just like Howl can fairly easily be found signed and uniquely inscribed by the author, and the City Lights edition (1960) can be found for anywhere between the regions of $200 all the way up to $1000!
Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and Other Poems. City Lights, San Francisco (1959). Introduction By William Carlos Williams; Pocket Poet Series number four; First state with Lucien Carr's name on the dedication page; no printing notice; Total 1500 copies.
Ginsberg, Allen. Empty Mirror. Totem Press / Corinth Books, New York (1961). Early Poems; With an introduction by William Carlos Williams; Cover art by Jesse Sorrentino; Total 3000 copies.
Ginsberg, Allen. KADDISH. City Lights Books, San Francisco (1961). and Other Poems; early issue with a seven line statement on the back panel rather than the 10 lines found on the 1st issue and other than the 23 line statement found on later reprints; Number 14 in the Pocket Poets Series; Total 2500 copies.
Ginsberg, Allen. REALITY SANDWICHES. City Light Books, San Francisco (1963). The Pocket Poets Series, Number Eighteen
Ginsberg, Allen. The Change. Writers Forum, London (1963). Very small number of surviving copies known with the wrappers in first state with the misspelled name corrected by hand; author's name is misspelled Ginsburg.
Ginsberg, Allen. T.V. Baby Poems. Cape Goliard Press, London. (1967). Cover photograph by Malcom Hart; Total 1500 copies; 100 copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. AIRPLANE DREAMS. Anansi, Toronto (1968). Compositions from Dreams; 6000 copies.
Ginsberg, Allen. Ankor Wat. Fulcrum Press, London (1968). illustrated with black-and-white photographs by Alexandra Lawrence; 100 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Planet News. City Lights Books, San Francisco (1968). 1961-1967; 500 numbered copies signed by author.
Ginsberg, Allen. T.V. Baby Poem. Cape Goliard/Grossman, New York (1968). 1750 SOFT COVER COPIES SIGNED AND DATED BY GINSBERG.
Ginsberg, Allen. Wales - A VISITATION. Cape Goliard Press, London (1968). July 29, 1967; Limited Edition of 200 hors commerce copies (after a signed limited edition 100 copies); First Printing; Illustrated with photographs by Tom Maschler
Ginsberg, Allen. Planet News. City Lights Books, San Francisco (1969). 500 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Indian Journals. Dave Haselwood Books / City Lights Books, San Francisco (1970). Photos and drawings by author; 1000 copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Morning in Spring and Other Poems. William Morrow and Company, New York (1970). ZUKOFSKY, Louis; signed on the flyleaf by both Louis Ginsberg and Allen Ginsberg (with his flower doodle)
Ginsberg, Allen. Howl for Carl Solomon. Grabhorn-Hoyem, San Francisco (1971). 275 copies; cover design by Robert LaVigne.
Ginsberg, Allen. IMPROVISED POETICS. The Anonym Press, Buffalo (1971). Edited with an introduction by Mark Robinson; Total 2000 copies; 100 numbered copies.
Ginsberg, Allen. Bixby Canyon Ocean Path World Breeze. Gotham Book Mart, New York (1972). Photographs by William Webb; Front cover illustration from a painting of Bixby Canyon by Emil White; 100 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Improvised Poetics. Anonym Books, San Francisco (1972). Edited, with an introduction by, Mark Ribson; 100 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Iron Horse. Coach House Press, Toronto (1972). 1000 copies, precedes the City Lights edition.
Ginsberg, Allen. New Year Blues. Phoenix Book Shop, New York (1972). Total 126 copies; 26 lettered copies; signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. The Gates of Wrath. Grey Fox Press, Bolinas (1972). Rhymed Poems: 1948-1952; 100 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Kerouac, Jack. Visions of Cody. McGraw-Hill, New York (1972). Introduction by Allen Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Iron Horse. City Lights, San Francisco (1974). text printed over a pink and white photograph of a train on each page
Ginsberg, Allen. First Blues. Full Court Press, New York (1975). Rags, Ballads and Harmonium Songs 1971-1974; 100 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. TO EBERHART FROM GINSBERG. Penmaen Press (1976). A LETTER ABOUT HOWL 1956; Total 1500 copies, 300 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg and Eberhart.
Ginsberg, Allen. As Ever. Creative Arts Book Company, Berkeley (1977). Neal Cassady; The Collected Correspondence of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady; Edited with an introduction by Barry Gifford; Foreword by Carolyn Cassady; Afterword by Allen Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Mind Breaths. City Lights Books, San Francisco (1977). Poems, 1972-1977; 300 copies of the hardcover edition.
Ginsberg, Allen. Moloch. Penmaen Press, Massachusetts (1978). Signed by Lynd Ward (illustrator) and Michael McCurdy (publisher); 300 numbered copies on French Rives paper.
Ginsberg, Allen. Old Pond Song. Firefly Press, Cambridge (1979). Introduction by Elsa Dorfman; Photographs by Rosalie Post. Designed and hand-printed by Carl Kay with hand-set Bembo type on Mohawk Superfine paper on a Poco proof press. Handbound by Daniel Kelm and Peter Geraty in red quarter-cloth and Japanese paper over boards.; Photos by Rosalie Post in the text; 50 numbered copies.
Ginsberg, Allen. 16 Broadsides. Bookslinger, St. Paul (1980). 125 numbered copies; 26 lettered copies; Includes work by Grace Paley, William Burroughs, Philip Whalen, Jane McCauley, Alvin Greenberg, Alison Knowles, Lon Otto, Brigitte Frase, Thomas Sanchez, Allen Ginsberg, Pauline Oliveros, Meridel Lesueur, Tillie Olsen, Donald Barthelme, Jackson MacLow and Jerome Rothenberg
Ginsberg, Allen. Plutonian Ode. Uitgeverij, Heerlen, Holland (1980). Dutch Version By Simon Vinkenoog; Total 1000 copies; 100 numered and signed copies; Includes both the English text by Ginsberg and the Dutch translation by Simon Vinkenoog; design by Rob Vermeulen
Ginsberg, Allen. Straight Hearts Delight. Gay Sunshine Press, San Francisco (1980). Peter Orlovsky; OVE POEMS AND SELECTED LETTERS 1947-1980; Edited by Winston Leyland; Frontispiece portraits by Richard Avedon; 50 numbered and signed copies; 26 lettered copies
Ginsberg, Allen. Plutonian Odes. City Lights Books, San Francisco (1982). Poems, 1977-1980; 150 copies signed by Ginsberg
Ginsberg, Allen. WHITE SHROUD. India Kalakshetra Publications, Madras (1983). Original color silkscreen by Clemente (frontispiece)
Ginsberg, Allen. White Shroud. Kalakshetra Press, Madras (1984). coloured screenprint by Clemente on handmade paper, 1 handmade leaf, facsimiles of watercolours after Clemente with texts in English in facsimile; 1,111 copies printed.
Ginsberg, Allen. Howl. Harper and Row, New York (1986). Original draft facsimile, transcript and variant versions, fully annotated by the author, with contemporaneous correspondence, account of first public reading, legal skirmishes, precursor texts and bibliography; Edited by Barry Miles; Illustrated from photographs, facsimile manuscript and typescript pages; Preface by Ginsberg. A Note on the Manuscript by Miles. Annotations by Ginsberg. Contributions by Carl Solomon and Carl Goy; Limited Edition of 250 copies specially bound and slipcased and signed by the author.
Morgan, Bill. Kanreki. Lospecchio Press, New York (1986). A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg; total edition was 176 copies; Contains tributes by Paul Bowles, J. Ciardi, M. Cowley, R. Duncan, William Gaddis, Thom Gunn, J. Hollander, Galway Kinnell, D. Levertov, L. Riding, Gary Snyder, John Updike and many others; The introduction states: In Japan, people reaching their 60th birthday are honored for the rest of their lives as wise persons; 26 lettered copies signed by Allen Ginsberg (on the title page) and editor Bill Morgan (on the copyright page).
Ginsberg, Allen. Since Man Began to Eat Himself. The Perishable Press, Mt. Horeb (1986). Four Poems, Two Stories: Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Kenneth Bernard; Allen Ginsberg; Toby Olson; Jerome Rothenberg and Joel Oppenheimer with six etched illuminations and one composite drawing provisioned by Warrington Colescott; 113 copies signed by all contributors.
Ginsberg, Allen. White Shroud. Harper and Row, New York (1986). Poems 1980-1985; 200 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg;
Ginsberg, Allen. Reality Sandwiches. Nishen, Berlin (1989). Fotografien. Text in German
Ginsberg, Allen. Allen Ginsberg: Photographs. Twelvetrees Press, Altadena (1990). Text by Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg; Limited edition of 5000 copies; 100 copies signed by Ginsberg.
Schumacher, Michael. Dharma Lion. St. Martins Press, New York (1992). Schumacher, Michael; A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg
Ginsberg, Allen. Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg, 1894 - 1956. Arion Press, San Francisco (1992). and two other related poems, White Shroud and Black Shroud; Introduction by Helen Vendler; Lithographed portraits of Ginsberg and his mother by R. B. Kitaj; The thirty-eighth publication of the Arion Press; 200 numbered copies signed by Ginsberg.
Ccaputo, Kim Zorn. Blind Spot No. 1. Blind Spot Inc., New York (1993). Foreword and edited by Kim Zorn Caputo; Includes photographic works by Peter Beard, Barbara Ess, McDermott and McGough, Adam Fuss, Allen Ginsberg, Ari Marcopoulos, Andres Serrano, Doug and Mike Starn, Bert Stern, James Welling and Robert Rauschenberg, and conversations between Vik Muniz and Doug and Mike Starn, and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Bert Stern
Ginsberg, Allen. Honorable Courtship. Coffee House Press, San Fransisco (1993). Edited by Gordon Ball; From the Authors Journals, January 1-15, 1955; Box contains suite of 5 woodcuts by Dean Bornstein; Printed on handmade Fabriano Umria paper; handbound by Jill Jevne; designed by Allan Kornblum; printed by Leslie Ross; 200 copies signed by Ginsberg and Bornstein.
Ginsberg, Allen. Snapshot Poetics. Chronicle Books, San Francisco (1993). A Photographic Memoir of the Beat Era; Introduction by Michael Kohler; containing 70+ photographs by Ginsberg with comments.
Ginsberg, Allen. Holy Soul Jelly Roll. Rhino Records/Word Beat , Los Angeles (1994). Poems and Songs 1949 - 1993
Ginsberg, Allen. Journals Mid-Fifties. HarperCollins, NY (1995). Edited by Gordon Ball; Total 176 copies; 26 lettered copies, signed by Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, Allen. Illuminated Poems. Four Walls Eight Windows, New York (1996). Color, duotone and black and white illustrations by Eric Drooker. 300 copies signed by Ginsberg and Drooker.
Ginsberg, Allen. Homage to Allen G. Granary Books, New York (1997). Text by Anne Waldman; Total 145 copies; special set limited to forty-five copies housed in a cloth drop back box with printed paper label and signed by George Schneeman and Anne Waldman Folio.
Ginsberg, Allen. AH Allen. A/c Editions, New York (1998). Contributors include Jack Kerouac, Edward Albee, Robert Frank, Yoko Ono, William Burroughs, Amiri Baraka, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, Gus Van Sant, Robert Lavigne, Czeslaw Milosz, Richard Serra, Quincy Troup, LETTERPRESS TYPOGRAPHY BY THE GRENFELL PRESS. INCLUDES RELIEF PRINTS, LITHOGRAPHS, SILKSCREENS, C-PRINTS, DUOTONES, SILVER PRINTS; Total 255 copies signed by 41 contributors.