| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Researcher Finds First Recording of Ginsberg's "Howl"

Daily News

Online Only, posted 2.19.08

A researcher in Portland, Oregon, recently discovered the first recording of Allen Ginsberg reading his famous poem "Howl," the Oregonian reported last week. While researching a biography of poet Gary Snyder at Reed College in Portland, John Suiter found the thirty-five-minute reel-to-reel tape in a box marked "Snyder Ginsberg 1956."

The first recording of Ginsberg's poem, which was published by City Lights Publishers in the fall of 1956 and has since sold more than a million copies, was thought to be from a reading in Berkeley on March 18 of that year, but the newly discovered tape was recorded on February 14 at Anna Mann Cottage in Portland.

Ginsberg can be heard reading several poems, including "Wild Orphan," "Over Kansas," and "A Supermarket in California," before someone asks him if he'd like to read "Howl." After answering, "I really don't. I don't know if I have the energy," Ginsberg acquiesces and gives a strong reading of the first section of the poem that helped define the Beat Generation. He stops several stanzas into the second section, saying, "I don't really feel like reading anymore. I just sorta' haven't got any kind of steam, so I'd like to cut. Do you mind?"

The recording is available at Reed's Web site.

Reader Comments

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
Creative Nonfiction
San Diego City College Ninth Annual International Book Fair
October 20, 2014 - 11:10am
Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland
October 20, 2014 - 12:00pm
City Lights Booksellers and Publishers
October 20, 2014 - 7:00pm
Creative Nonfiction
City Lights Bookstore
October 20, 2014 - 7:00pm
Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland
October 20, 2014 - 7:00pm
Conferences & Residencies
West Cork, Ireland
Riga, Latvia
Charlotte, North Carolina
Writing Contests
University of Evansville
American Library Association
Magazine Articles

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.


by Staff

Politics & Prose replaces Barnes & Noble as official National Book Festival bookseller; new Berryman volume and reissues released; Carlos Lozada named nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post; and other news.

Directory of Writers
Town of Stuyvesant, NY
Spoken Word Artist, Poet, Fiction Writer
Brooklyn, NY
Leawood, KS

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved