Fifty-eight years ago today, on October 7, 1955, Allen Ginsberg read his landmark poem Howl for the first time at the Six Gallery at 3119 Fillmore Street in San Francisco. Other poets who read that night were Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen. Kenneth Rexroth was there to introduce the poets.
In our small press and literature collections, Special Collections and Archives has the first printing of Howl, as published by City Lights, a later printing by the same press, and a special signed fine press edition of the poem published by Grabhorn-Hoyem in 1971. That edition is signed by both Allen Ginsberg and Carl Solomon, to whom Howl was dedicated. Our Small Press Collection includes thousands of literary works, many are poetry, published mainly from the 1950s through the 1970s.