Beat Generation Photos by Rob Lee

Photos by Rob Lee

Lawrence FerlinghettiMarch 11, 1987 Taken in his office above City Lights Bookstore (shaped like an arrowhead bisecting Columbus Avenue and Jack Kerouac Alley), Ferlinghetti spends more time in his painting studio at this point in his life. A quiet, observant presence, "fighting the good fight." Gregory CorsoSeptember 25, 1988 Gregory was on a tear, for reasons … [Read more...]

Kerouac and the Outsider – A Puzzle

Jack Kerouac Alley / Double Feature / Flickr

It was Horst who started it. Horst Spandler had been translating the 1971 Kerouac anthology Scattered Poems into German. Along the way he'd been asking others their advice on the meaning of parts of Jack's poems. One such query I received concerned Kerouac's rather fine "Sept. 16, 1961, Poem" (on page 29). Horst wanted to know whether the line which reads "sad today glad … [Read more...]

The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder Practice of the Wild

When someone comes up with a fresh and startling way of looking at our world, you can bet that it is drawn from a combination of sources, fields, and disciplines. Gary Snyder has done just this with The Practice of the Wild, joining his backgrounds in mythology, history, religion, literature, anthropology, language, and natural history. The result is a series of interlocking … [Read more...]

The Rebirth of the Author in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

copyright jon3782001 / sxc

"Time stops. He's filling empty space with the substance of our lives, confessions of his bellybottom strain, remembrance of ideas, rehashes of old blowing. He has to blow across bridges and come back and do it with such infinite feeling soul-exploratory for the tune of the moment that everybody knows it's not the tune that counts, but 'IT--' Dean could go no further; he was … [Read more...]

Baby Driver, by Jan Kerouac

Baby Driver - Jan Kerouac / EmptyMirror

While I was being gifted a tiny grocery store carrot cake for my fifteenth birthday in a park in Connecticut, still on the road myself, Jan Kerouac passed away. It was June 5, 1996. I had no idea who Jan Kerouac was, wouldn’t know for another 8 or so years. But I was living a life strikingly similar to hers, in an alternate universe.Kerouac was gifted with looks, talent, … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac’s Books

Jack Kerouac - On the Road

This is a listing of Jack Kerouac's books, arranged by their date of publication. We've also noted the date(s) when the book was written. If the book covers a particular period of time, we've noted the approximate dates.Book Published Written Time CoveredThe Town and the City 1950 … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road Manuscript Scroll

Kerouac On the Road Scroll / emdot / Flickr

Jack Kerouac wrote his novel On the Road in a unique fashion - he typed it on a continuous roll of paper, without paragraph breaks, in a marathon writing session in 1951. It is somewhat different than the version which was published in 1957. Finally, the original version has been published.The scroll was auctioned in 2004; Indianapolis Colts owner & Beat Generation … [Read more...]

Mario Cesariny

Mario Cesariny, by Carlos Botelho

Portuguese Surrealist poet, painter, and playwright Mario Cesariny passed away on November 19, 2006 in Lisbon, at the age of 83.He met Andre Breton in Paris in 1947, was greatly influenced by the French Surrealists, and was part of the Surrealist Group, and later Dissident Surrealist Group, in Portugal.Thanks to Rik Lina for providing the impetus for this page.To … [Read more...]

David Amram: To Laura for Ted Joans

Ted Joans Lives!

David Amram: To Laura for Ted JoansDear Laura: - I just heard about Ted's passing and wanted to tell you how sorry I was, and hope you will know that you are not alone, and that many like myself (I knew Ted since 1956) will always miss him, as you and his children. - So will all the people around the world of all ages, whose lives he … [Read more...]

Robert Creeley: Ted Joans, Primary Poet

Ted Joans Lives!

Sad news indeed that old friend and ally Ted Joans has died in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he'd been living for the past few years. Apparently his health, affected by diabetes, had not been good, and though there is as yet no clear report, that seems at the root of what's happened.What to say about this terrific, unbeatable and indefatigable person, wedder of bop … [Read more...]

The Teducated Mouth: John Barbato interviews Ted Joans

Ted Joans Lives!

Ted Joans, one of the original Beat poets, was born in Cairo, Illinois on 4 July 1928. By his twenties, living in New York City , he moved in the surrealist world of painters, jazz players and poets. If a scene was happening Joans had it covered. A partial list of his friends reads like a who's who of the important creators of the 20th century: Allen Ginsberg, Ella … [Read more...]

Philip Whalen

copyright Rob Lee

Philip Whalen Resources on the Web BIG BRIDGE: On the Occasion of the Publication of Philip Whalen's Collected Poems BIG BRIDGE published this feature, which includes essays on Whalen & his work by Whalen's work by Dale Smith, Ron Silliman, David Schneider, Karl Young, Neeli Chrkovski, Brian Howlett, John Tarrant, Tom Clark, Anne Waldman, David Meltzer, and a book … [Read more...]

Pete Winslow, Beat/Surrealist Poet

Pete Winslow - Monster Cookies

Best known for his poetry, Pete Winslow was also a newspaper columnist, essayist & novelist. A surrealist poet, Pete was also sometimes associated with the Beat Generation.Born October 19, 1934 in the state of Washington, Winslow passed away in September 1972 of complications following surgery, leaving a wife and 5-year-old son behind.Following his death, his last … [Read more...]

Kay Johnson, aka Kaja

Kay Johnson - Human Songs

Gerry George: i knew kay johnson as swami-ji in berkeley in 1973 when we were very close friends for a time.she gave me the typewriter she had carried in greece, an orange portable with a large white "om" painted on it. i gave it to a friend from college with whom i just had my first conversation in 17 years and he mentioned using the typewriter and i looked for kay on … [Read more...]

Gregory Corso

Gregory Corso - Mindfield

Gregory Corso passed away on January 19, 2001 at the age of 70, after a long illness. Corso was one of the major figures of the Beat Generation. He was a poet, painter, traveler, and occasional lecturer. His vibrant, vital, authentic poetry celebrates the mystery of life and death through everyday detail and mystic visions.Though he never gained the truly widespread fame … [Read more...]

A.D. Winans on A.D. Winans


I was born in San Francisco, and have lived here almost my entire life. I was born at home, premature. My mother said the doctor told her I would not live a long life. Now I'm 71 and the doctor is long dead.My father was seventeen years older than my mother, and they fought constantly... When my mother wasn't yelling at my father, she was yelling at me. This left deep … [Read more...]

Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey - Further INquiry

Ken Kesey passed away on November 10, 2001 at the age of 66, of complications following surgery for a tumor on his liver.The following biographical sketch was written by Jason Reott several months before Kesey's death.Ken KeseyPerhaps Ken Kesey is best known for his work One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a novel symbolizing the corruption of freedoms in America, … [Read more...]

The Beat Hotel by Barry Miles


With the July 2000 Grove Press release of The Beat Hotel, author (Barry) Miles revisits 9 rue Git-le-Coeur, an historic set of decaying digs amid a rat infested slum on the Left Bank of Paris, "a decrepit rooming house with hole-in-the-floor toilets shared by all..." circa 1957-1963. A spectral time in diminutive spaces where life's more literate mysteries were eloquently … [Read more...]

Max Douglas, Poet

Kansas Fields - Morrhigan / SXC

Max Douglas was a Kansas poet who died much too young, leaving behind many admirers, and a thick volume's worth of really fine work. Douglas, born in 1949, passed away in 1970 of an accidental heroin overdose. During his life, many of his poems were published in literary periodicals, and his Collected Poems was published in 1978 by White Dot Press. It's now very hard to find - … [Read more...]

Howard Hart

Howard Hart and Raymond Foye, by T. Walden

SOME LINES FOR YOUWRITTEN UNDER A REDWOOD IN THE CITY PARKNOT YET THREE MONTHS SINCE YOU DIED IN MY ARMSIN OUR HOME ON CHESTNUT STREET, SAN FRANCISCO Drawn to the Temple where you worshipped I slink along the edges of the city like a catHawk family nesting in our Autumn Garden Turning overhead like something out of Yeats's Second ComingMarble Angel still holding … [Read more...]

Seymour Krim

Seymour Krim

Seymour Krim was born in 1922 and moved into Greenwich Village in 1943 to hang around the New York Intellectuals and wait for the arrival of the Beats. Krim knew he was a writer, but he complained later that the book reviews he wrote for the Times and the criticism he published in literary quarterlies "made a cramped miniature" of his spirit. Then in 1957 On the Road appeared … [Read more...]

Mary Norbert Korte

A Generation of Love - Korte

A former nun, Mary Norbert Korte has been publishing her poetry since the mid-1960s. She lives in Northern California, where she has dedicated herself to the environment, poetry, and teaching.A chapter, "Redwood Mama Activist," in the book Women of the Beat Generation, by Brenda Knight, is devoted to her.Six of Korte's poems, spanning her career are printed there: "Eddie … [Read more...]

A. D. Winans Looks Back at the Beat Generation

City Lights Bookstore window

Generally speaking, counter-culture describes the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group or subculture in conflict with those of the cultural mainstream of the day, a visible phenomenon that reaches critical mass and persists for some time.The Beat Generation was composed of a group of American poets and writers who first congregated in New York and later joined … [Read more...]

An Interview with David Amram: By Your Works Ye Shall Be Known

David Amram, Ed Heflin & Joe Kerouac. © Ed Heflin, 2003

A friend of mine is so artistically fascinating and creative that labeling him "eclectic" or "multi-faceted" understates his cultural contributions. Full of life, he incessantly looks for beauty in all that surrounds him. The following is his story, plus an interview I conducted with him prior to his June 4, 2003 appearance in Chicago. We sat down to discuss his life and his … [Read more...]

Jack Foley Writes About Ted Joans

Ted Joans Lives!

Jack Foley: GOODBYE, TED JOANSDon't let the minute spoil the hour.      --Ted JoansTed Joans died April 25th, 2003 at the age of 74. He was alone in his apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia. His body wasn't found until May 7th.It seems odd--and was in fact merely accidental--that Ted should have died alone: he was an immensely … [Read more...]

Ted Joans Lives! Words by T. Paul Ste. Marie

Ted Joans & T.Paul Ste. Marie at Bukowski's in Vancouver. photo by Laura Corsiglia

T. Paul Ste. Marie:My fortune in life, my true fortune of connecting with wonderful people, grew intensely as a result of knowing Ted & Laura here in Vancouver, B.C.. I had first met them at a reading Ted was giving at Bukowski's Bar & Grill. Being a poet and an artist myself who draws heavily upon jazz and surrealist influences, it was a joy to witness one of the … [Read more...]

Ted Joans Lives! Tribute (15)

Ted Joans Lives!

Cordley CoitTed Joans   (unfinished documentary) Music: Ornette Coleman's Empty Foxhole Red beans and rice, wet pussy, nice. We know where the .38 lives where the rule of switchblades reign. We waited for Brother Malcolm, Orly: only for him he was diverted by death.Pause a full measure: Sax Solo From the last of Ted to Shakespeare & Co. Armed … [Read more...]