University of Delaware Library

Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997.

Allen Ginsberg poems and letters

1959–1966, 1984

Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F759

Creator: Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997.

Title: Allen Ginsberg poems and letters

Inclusive Dates: 1959–1966, 1984

Extent: 17 items

Abstract: Typescript poems, a published letter, a postcard written by Allen Ginsberg, and items related to the article "The Sound of Beat" published in the July 1959 issue of Playboy.

Language: Materials entirely in English.


MSS 099, F759, Allen Ginsberg poems and letters, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

F759, Box 49: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099 manuscript boxes


Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL:


Purchase, August 2005.


Processed by Karalee Kopreski, October 2005. Encoded by Anita Wellner, December 2007.

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was born in Newark, New Jersey, and educated at Columbia University. Before achieving success as a writer, Ginsberg worked as a dishwasher, a welder and served in the Merchant Marine. Literary notoriety followed publication of Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems (1956) in the Pocket Poet Series of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books. This collection, which includes "Supermarket in California," "Sunflower Sutra," and "America," distinguished Ginsberg as a leading poet of the Beat movement. After 1956, Ginsberg traveled extensively, became involved with civil rights campaigns and war resistance movements, and continued to write poetry. One of Ginsberg’s most celebrated later poems is "Kaddish," a poem on the death of his mother collected in Kaddish and Other Poems, 1958–1960. Ginsberg died on April 5, 1997.


Perkins, George and Barbara Perkins and Phillip Leininger. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

Scope and Content Note

The Allen Ginsberg collection contains typescript poetry, a published letter, a postcard, and items related to the article "The Sound of Beat" published in the July 1959 issue of Playboy.

The seventeen items in the collection span the dates 1959–1984 and include primarily typescript copies of poetry with handwritten notes published between 1962 and 1966. The typescript of "Chances R" includes a note and illustration by Robert Branaman. The postcard dated June 6, 1966, and addressed to Poets Press publisher, Alan Marlowe, contains Ginsberg’s forward to Herbert Huncke’s book entitled Huncke’s Journal, which is an account of his experiences with his Beat-poet friends, published in 1965.

The collection also includes items related to the July 1959 issue of Playboy, including typescripts of Ginsberg’s "To Lindsay," Gregory Corso’s "Made By Hand," and Kerouac’s "To Harpo Marx." The collection also has publisher's requisition of payment forms, a proof mockup, an interoffice correspondence sheet, the original Playboy filing envelope, and a copy of the July 1959 issue of Playboy.

Selected Search Terms

Topical Terms
American poetry--History--20th century--Sources.
Beat generation--History--20th century--Sources.
Form/Genre Terms
Magazines (periodicals)
Personal Contributors
Branaman, Robert R.
Corso, Gregory.

Detailed Contents List

Postcard to Alan Marlowe, 1966 June 6   [Box 49 F759]

Holograph postcard

To Poets Press publisher Alan Marlowe. The text contains Ginsberg's complete foreward for Huncke's Journal.

"Love Letter to Charlie Chaplin", 1962   [Box 49 F759]

Typescript with holograph corrections (1 leaf)

Coauthored by Peter Orlovsky, with Ginsberg's holograph corrections.

"A Methedrine Vision in Hollywood", April 1966   [Box 49 F759]

Typescript (2 leaves)

Poem inscribed on page 1 "For Ted Berrigan" and bearing in Ginsberg's hand "A. Gensberg POB 582 Stuyvesant Station." Also signed by Ginsberg on page two, with Ginsberg's holograph note "For 'C' Magazine April 1966."

"White Shroud", October 12, 1984   [Box 49 F759]

1 item (6 leaves)

Typescript (photocopy) of Ginsberg's poem with author's holograph note on page 6 "Epilogue to Kaddish for Bob Sharrard City Lights 10/12/84."

"Chances 'R'", February 1966   [Box 49 F759]

3 items (3 leaves)

Typescript poem signed by Ginsberg and bearing the printer's setting copy notations. Accompanied by the original velox illustration for Chances "R," by illustrator Robert R. Branaman and Branaman's typed letter to Sam Edward regarding the illustration.

"To Lindsay" , 1958   [Box 49 F759]

6 items

Typescript poem by Ginsberg for the article, "The Sound of Beat," published in the July 1959 issue of Playboy. Accompanied by Playboy interoffice correspondence regarding the article, a mock-up of the poem, a requisition for payment form for Ginsberg, the July 1959 issue of Playboy, and the original envelope for the Playboy material.

"Made by Hand" by Gregory Corso, 1959   [Box 49 F759]

3 items (2 leaves)

Typescript poem (originally titled "Awakening") written by Corso for the article, "The Sound of Beat," published in the July 1959 issue of Playboy. Bears the holograph notation by Corso, "Made in N.Y." and accompanied by Playboy's mock-up for the poem and requistion for payment for Corso.

"To Harpo Marx" by Jack Kerouac, 1959   [Box 49 F759]

1 item (2 leaves)

Playboy Magazine's proof mock-up for Kerouac's poem for the article, "The Sound of Beat," published in the July 1959 issue of Playboy.