On June 8, 2021, HarperCollins will issue The Collected Works of Jim Morrison: Poetry, Journals, Transcripts, and Lyrics. As Rolling Stone reports, at some point before his death in July 1971, Jim Morrison hand-wrote a list, titled “Plan for Book,” that laid out his thoughts on a collection of his poetry, lyrics, and other work.
Some fifty years after his death, it seems that his idea will be finally realized. At nearly 600 pages long, the book — compiled with the cooperation of his estate — pulls together most of his previously published work, from song lyrics to poetry (“Horse Latitudes,” “The Celebration of the Lizard”), as well as the entirety of the posthumously published writing collections Wilderness and The American Night.
The magazine adds that roughly half the book consists of previously unpublished material, including unrecorded lyrics, handwritten excerpts from 28 recently discovered notebooks, and 160 photos and drawings (including rarely seen family photos). Among the excerpts from Morrison’s notebooks will be his thoughts on his trial in Miami in 1970 (he was found guilty of indecent exposure and open profanity), as well as what are believed to be Morrison’s final writings — the contents of a Paris notebook from shortly before his death, “reproduced in full reading size,” according to the publisher.
Other rarities include Morrison’s treatment for The Hitchhiker, a movie project in which he played a murderous drifter; parts of it were eventually filmed as his experimental movie HWY. An accompanying audiobook includes the first-ever release of Morrison’s final poetry recording session, held in an L.A. studio on his 27th birthday in December 1970; it’s accompanied by a transcript of that tape.