Thought of as the pre-spirit of The Poetry Project, Paul Blackburn gave the first reading here on September 22, 1966. His poetry, translations, and organization and recording of early downtown readings, exerted a steady and widespread influence across a wide range of aesthetic practices. In his lifetime Blackburn published thirteen books of original poetry as well as five major works of translation. Twelve other books were published posthumously. The Collected Poems of Paul Blackburn (1985) and The Selected Poems of Paul Blackburn (1989) are both available from Persea Books, and a reprint of Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry (New York Review Books, 2016).