For Ginsberg Fans, Christmas Comes Back Next Week

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 5.33.56 PMGinsberg Recordings

“Christmas, come back,” Allen Ginsberg sang at St. Marks Church in 1971.

Christmas ain’t coming back (heck, even Ukrainian Christmas has come and gone), but next week Ginsberg fans will get a nice little gift: “First Blues” will be reissued by Ginsberg Recordings, a collaboration between the poet’s estate and the Esther Creative Group, which manages Lou Reed and other artists. To celebrate the reissue, fellow poets and musicians like Anne Waldman, CA Conrad, Steven Taylor, Hettie Jones, Ambrose Bye, Ginsberg’s longtime assistant Bob Rosenthal, and yes, maybe even Mr. Reed (he’s “tentatively scheduled” to read, says a rep) will gather for an evening of readings and song at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Jan. 16

“First Blues,” a compendium of songs taped from 1971 to the early ’80s, was originally released in 1983 as a two-record set. It included collaborations with Bob Dylan, David Amram, and Ginsberg’s East Village neighbor Arthur Russell, among others. (Arthur’s Landing, a tribute band made up of the late Mr. Russell’s friends and colleagues, will perform at the Housing Works event.) That edition quickly went out of print, as did a CD reissue released in 2006, and now the only thing available is an eight-song version. The latest edition will gather 24 songs: seven will appear on a vinyl record packaged with the newspaper-style insert that accompanied the original; the rest will be available as digital downloads.

A limited number of copies of the new edition will be available at next Wednesday’s event, which is co-sponsored by the Beat-happy eyewear brand Warby Parker. It’s free, and runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.