Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The Earliest Howl of Allen Ginsberg
In the "Arts Briefly" column in the New York Times Arts section (compiled by Peter Edidin)for Saturday February 16, 2008, this item came up:
The earliest known recording of Allen Ginsberg reading from his epic poem “Howl” has been found at Reed College in Portland, Ore., the British newspaper The Guardian reported. It had been thought that Ginsberg, right, first recorded the work in Berkeley, Calif., in March 1956. But according to The Oregonian, the recently discovered recording was made several weeks earlier. Ginsberg, having hitchhiked to Portland with his fellow Beat poet Gary Snyder in the winter of 1956, gave a reading at a student hostel, the Anna Mann Cottage, that was recorded on a reel-to-reel machine on Feb. 14. The tape was found by John Suiter, a biographer of Mr. Snyder, in a box in the college archives labeled “Snyder Ginsberg 1956.” It contained a 35-minute tape of Ginsberg reading the first section of “Howl” and other poems. The recordings can be heard at reed.edu.
That link to the Ginsberg recording can be found here. -Ed