The Works of Allen Ginsberg, 1941-1994: A Descriptive Bibliography

The Works of Allen Ginsberg, 1941-1994: A Descriptive Bibliography

The Works of Allen Ginsberg, 1941-1994: A Descriptive Bibliography

The Works of Allen Ginsberg, 1941-1994: A Descriptive Bibliography


Avant-garde poet and popular culture icon, Allen Ginsberg has been one of the world's most important writers for over 40 years. This comprehensive bibliography, covering the years 1941 to 1994, was prepared with the cooperation of the poet himself. All books, periodicals, photographs, recordings, films, and miscellaneous appearances are listed here. Entries are grouped in chapters according to type of work, and each entry provides full descriptive bibliographic information.


For the past fifteen years I have been making the trek to Allen Ginsberg's office, opening the drawer in the desk with my name on it, and discovering the feast of newly arrived books and magazines that lie there, awaiting my cataloguing. Never have I found that drawer empty; often the meal ends with more publications than I can digest. Day after day publications arrive, passing from Allen's hand and eye, through that drawer and on to the shelves of his huge archive. This is a menu of those items, listing all the possible choices on the bill of fare of Allen's poetic table. I can't imagine that drawer ever being empty, and until it is, this bibliography will serve as a guide to a life-long work in progress.

In the late 1960s I began working with Lawrence Ferlinghetti on the book which eventually became Lawrence Ferlinghetti: a Comprehensive Bibliography to 1980 published by Garland in 1982. in the course of that work I visited countless collections and libraries across the country and nowhere did I find a better private resource than Allen Ginsberg's own archive. If I couldn't locate a scarce copy of Beatitude magazine in any public collection, I could be assured that Allen had it on his own shelves. If I needed to find a copy of an obscure flyer, I could count on the Ginsberg Archive. the only obstacle to using his collection was that it consisted of more than a thousand boxes of unsorted paper. Once work was completed on the Ferlinghetti bibliography, I decided, with Allen's permission, to catalogue the contents of the Ginsberg Archive, to enable access by future researchers. This bibliography has grown quite naturally out of that organizational work.

Allen Ginsberg must surely be one of the most prolific writers of our times. He has been widely published and is a generous contributor to underground magazines and small press anthologies. His loyalty to City Lights Books for 25 years is only one example of his commitment to independent publishing, helping to establish City Lights as one of the most influential small presses in the world. His active support of many causes over the years has lent itself to the publication of numerous position papers, petitions and open letters, most of which are uncollected. the subject range of publications is vast for a single author, from Buddhist studies to drug research to gay rights issues to tireless support of fellow writers. His works may be found in the music corner of the bookstore just as easily as the photography, political and religion sections, sometimes even in the occult and history departments. and just as soon as you say "but not the cookbook section of the store," there he is with a recipe for savory oatmeal.

Since childhood he has maintained working journals and from these come ideas for poems and prose that develop into major works. Poems are often published which are in progress between initial inspiration and finished draft. Ginsberg tends to tinker with his poetry much more than his dictum "First Thought Best Thought" would suggest, and the publication histories of each poem are a log of those adjustments.

This bibliography, intended as a complete, comprehensive guide to the work of Allen Ginsberg, is designed to present a history of his published works and to trace the evolution of his writings over a period of publications and revisions. Found here are the production . . .

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