New York: Corinth Books, 1961. First Edition. Fourth book by the Brooklyn-born Italian-American Beat poet and publisher, a collection of early short stories and 14 poems. Not an uncommon book, but an early and uncommonly good inscription to a fellow poet, signed at Les Deux Mégots, a short-lived but significant nexus for poetry readings on the Lower East Side. Located in the basement of an old brick townhouse at 64 East 7th Street, and co-owned by Mickey Ruskin and Bill Mackey, Les Deux Mégots ("The Two Cigar Butts" – a play on the name of the Parisian café Les Deux Magots) opened in 1962. "Shortly thereafter, Ruskin sold his half of the establishment to Mackey, who became the Mégots' sole proprietor and garrulous fixture behind the café's pastry counter...Located between Second and Third Avenues, Les Deux Mégots was one of the first artistic sanctuaries on the Lower East Side, which, at that time, was primarily a working-class Jewish and Italian neighborhood. The coffeehouse was open from 4 p.m. until midnight and held readings on Monday and Wednesday nights under the auspices of Paul Blackburn...In February 1963 – after less than one year of operation – the coffeehouse closed down, reopening as a restaurant the following year. Many of the poets from Les Deux Mégots would go on to read at Café Le Metro and, later, at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery" (Diggory, Terence. Encyclopedia of the New York School Poets, p.289). Item #5822

First Printing. Octavo (20.25cm); original pictorial card wrappers; [8],9-94,[2]pp. Inscribed on the title page in a contemporary hand to Cuban-American poet and editor Robert Lima: "For Bob at the Deux Mégot / Best / Diane / Aug 62." Light wear to extremities, subtle toning to front wrapper; Near Fine.

Price: $450.00

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