The first known recorded reading of Allen Ginsberg’s epic 1956 poem, “Howl,” will be released this April as Allen Ginsberg at Reed College — The First Recorded Reading of Howl and Other Poems. This first recorded reading took place at Reed College.
The recording is the oldest one existing of Ginsberg reading the 1955 work that established beat poetry as a household term and informed the ’60s counterculture to come. It was put down on tape on Valentine’s Day, 1956, on the second of a two-day appearance by Ginsberg at the esteemed Oregon school.
The tape went forgotten until 2007, when author John Suiter found it in a box at Reed’s Hauser Memorial Library while doing research on another poet who read at the college that day, Gary Snyder. Its discovery made the news after being verified the following year. But it was to still go unheard to the general public until a Hollywood-Oregon connection made its release inevitable.
Read the rest in Variety.
[H/t Steve Silberman]