Wait Till I'm Dead: Uncollected Poems

Allen Ginsberg (Author) Bill Morgan (Editor)
& 1 more


Rainy night on Union Square, full moon. Want more poems? Wait till I'm dead.--Allen Ginsberg, August 8, 1990, 3:30 A.M.

The first new Ginsberg collection in over fifteen years, Wait Till I'm Dead is a landmark publication, edited by renowned Ginsberg scholar Bill Morgan and introduced by award-winning poet and Ginsberg enthusiast Rachel Zucker. Ginsberg wrote incessantly for more than fifty years, often composing poetry on demand, and many of the poems collected in this volume were scribbled in letters or sent off to obscure publications and unjustly forgotten. Wait Till I'm Dead, which spans the whole of Ginsberg's long writing career, from the 1940s to the 1990s, is a testament to Ginsberg's astonishing writing and singular aesthetics.

Following the chronology of his life, Wait Till I'm Dead reproduces the poems together with extensive notes. Containing 104 previously uncollected poems and accompanied by original photographs, Wait Till I'm Dead is the final major contribution to Ginsberg's sprawling oeuvre, a must-read for Ginsberg neophytes and longtime fans alike.

Product Details

$24.00  $22.08
Grove Press
Publish Date
February 02, 2016
5.9 X 1.1 X 8.3 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Allen Ginsberg (19261997) was a poet, activist, and one of the Beat Generation's most renowned writers. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute. He won the National Book Award for Poetry and his poem "Howl" is one of the most widely read and translated poems of the century.
Bill Morgan is a painter and archival consultant who lives in New York City and Bennington, Vermont. He is the author of "The Beat Generation in New York" and "The Beat Generation in San Francisco," "I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg," and edited "Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays of Allen Ginsberg, 19521995," as well as Ginsberg s "Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems, 19371952," and "Howl on Trial: The Battle for Free Expression.""


Praise for Wait Till I'm Dead

"Ginsberg['s] importance is unquestionable. Among his many roles in 20th century culture--'60s protest jokester, Zen ambassador, literary lion--he was also, for many, the gateway poet. These are not unlike other Ginsberg poems--fierce, funny, libidinous, subversive--but here they afford a fresh chronological tour of Ginsberg's life, which is also one version of the story of the second half of the 20th century . . . The high point is a long poem called 'New York to San Fran, ' the book's most ambitious and fulfilled piece. Ginsberg . . . treats everything with an utterly absorbing present-tense vividness, which this book lets us view through grown-up eyes."--Los Angeles Times

"An intimate new collection from the 'shy but outspoken Jewish bard, ' as Rachel Zucker dubs him in her artful foreword . . . Wait Till I'm Dead expands our vision, takes us on a wild road trip with the poet and his friends through the second half of the 20th century . . . He reveals his inner life with magnificent range, from traveling epics to lucid haiku . . . Ginsberg's singular voice, speaking out from the past."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Delights include the opening set of quatrains slamming student Allen's congressman, a long ramble on America written during a cross-country flight in 1965, a final conversation with old friend Carl Solomon, and enough jokey or philosophical or contemplative or observational short poems to make those who've sworn off Ginsberg reconsider."--Booklist

"[A] carefully chosen gathering of Ginsberg's fugitive pieces . . . [His] spontaneous aesthetic at its liveliest is the heretofore uncollected 'NY to San Fran, ' a 27-page Whitmanic reverie of hallucinogenic scope . . . Together with the editor's informative notes, this volume not only complements its larger predecessor but similarly offers an impressionistic microhistory of the 20th-century American counterculture, its restless consciousness and broad emotional register filtered through the unbridled visions of one of its most outspoken icons. Ginsberg fans and scholars alike will appreciate the wealth of new material included."--Library Journal

"Bill Morgan has really tracked down over a hundred Ginsberg poems that 'would have gotten away.' . . . What we come away with is wanting more, and wishing we knew what Allen would say about these complicated times."--Empty Mirror

Praise for Allen Ginsberg:

Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry

"Ginsberg has been one of the most influential poets in America in our time. . . . A spectacular career."--New York Times Book Review

"Ginsberg is both tragic and dynamic, a lyrical genius, con man extraordinaire and probably the single greatest influence on American poetical voice since Whitman."--Bob Dylan

"An iconic American poet . . . An often outrageous, groundbreaking poet and tireless social activist."--Kirkus Reviews, on The Essential Ginsberg

"Places Ginsberg firmly among the most prolific poets of the age."--Washington Post Book World, on Collected Poems: 1947-1997