New Year Blues is contains two works by the poet Allen Ginsberg: “Christmas Blues” and “Macdougal Street Blues.” Ginsberg notes that “these are first experiment blues lyrics, one written waiting turn in St. Marks Church Xmas open poetry reading, & the other midnite in Fennjon’s basement coffeeshop waaiting to do hour’s set backroom 1AM.”
This first edition of New Year Blues was limited to one hundred copies, numbered and signed by the author. Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections holds copy number eighty-one.
One of the most respected Beat writers and acclaimed American poets of his generation, Allen Ginsberg enjoys a prominent place in post-World War II American culture. He was born in 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Paterson. The son of an English teacher and Russian expatriate, Ginsberg’s early life was marked by his mother’s psychological troubles, including a series of nervous breakdowns. In 1943, while studying at Columbia University, Ginsberg befriended William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the trio later established themselves as pivotal figures in the Beat Movement. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem “Howl”, in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.
Learn more about Allen Ginsberg here
To see and read our library’s copy of New Year Blues, visit Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room).