7 Examples of Constrained Writing

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Constrained writing has drawn both glowing support and vehement opposition. Some claim it to be an evocative demonstration of the notion that less is more. Others see it as a cheap parlor trick that limits expression and creates a screen for hack writers to hide behind. In any case, it became a recognized literary movement (‘The Oulipo Movement’) in 1960s France, and has … [Read more...]

‘Seven Years in Tibet’ by Heinrich Harrer – Book Review

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‘Seven Years in Tibet’; or ‘Siben Jahre in Tibet. Mein Leben am Hofe des Dalai Lama’ in its original German edition, is the autobiographical adventures of Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer, between 1944 and 1950. The story is probably best known for the 1997 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt as Harrer, although this is certainly a romanticisation of … [Read more...]

Poetry Review: Waterloo, by J.T. Welsch

Digital collage by D.Enck

Waterloo by J.T. Welsch / Like This Press / Saddle-Stitch, 36 pagesThe twenty-four numbered but untitled poems, and almost as many monochrome images, of J.T. Welsch’s Waterloo begin with a wake. The first poem quickly makes clear that though a death may have served as the impetus for this series, the poems will not really be about grief: “Between the storm and jetlag, the … [Read more...]

Uncle Fred

Uncle Fred - Natalie Wright

[Editor's note: F.N. Wright was a novelist, artist, and poet, whose work was published widely in the small press.]Uncle Fred and I once thought up a name for our dream bookstore. It would be called Tangents. I’ve always thought that would be a perfect name. We would model our bookstore after the one in Hermosa Beach that is no longer there...where he bought all his … [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...]

Lawrence McGaugh

Lawrence McGaugh - A Fifth Sunday

Bay Area poet Lawrence McGaugh was the author of "A Fifth Sunday" and other volumes.Lawrence McGaugh Selected Bibliography A Fifth Sunday Berkeley: Oyez, 1965. Beautifully Designed and printed by Graham Mackintosh in an edition of 500 copies. Stapled in wrappers featuring a photo of the poet. Unpaginated, 32 pp. full-size image of cover image of title page image of … [Read more...]

Review – Time Adjusters & Other Stories by Bill Ectric

Time Adjusters and Other Stories by Bill Ectric

The modern fables that make up Bill Ectric's new collection of stories, Time Adjusters, are difficult to classify, in the best way possible. They seem a comic-book mishmash of science fiction and magical realism, one turn of the screw toward another world. At first, the author paints a suburban landscape where pet baboons chase children through the streets, and we are not sure … [Read more...]

Cut-Up (The Stolen Scroll)

Kerouac On the Road Scroll / emdot / Flickr

Jim sat at the library table with his head in his hands. He didn't want to go to jail. Yesterday morning he prided himself in caring nothing for possessions, but today, all the people who could have been his friends probably hated him for something he possessed.They didn't know it was him they hated. They posted things on the website like, "WhoEVER took the scroll, please … [Read more...]

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A Coney Island of the Mind - Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I first found Lawrence Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind while an undergraduate, finding the wry attacks on the established order refreshing and invigorating. Ferlinghetti protests and rages against the madness of the nuclear age, against the misuse of religion and politics to enslave humanity, and against the colossal indifference that allows all this to happen. He … [Read more...]

Tristessa by Jack Kerouac

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Jack Kerouac is primarily lauded for his keen understanding of male friendship. The female characters of On the Road or The Dharma Bums never really achieve the reader's interest the way the males do. But Kerouac is also a writer of exquisitely sad love stories, with complex and fully realized women: The Subterraneans, Maggie Cassidy, and Tristessa. In these tales we find to … [Read more...]

Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac

Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac

Like a weird, mutated ogre muttering to himself by the roadside, Jack Kerouac's Visions of Cody stands apart. As the author states in his short introduction, "I wanted a vertical metaphysical study of Cody's character and its relationship to the general 'America'." He has done this and more, erecting teetering thousand-foot sculptures of brilliant scrap metal by the macadam … [Read more...]

Vanity of Duluoz by Jack Kerouac

Vanity of Duluoz - erikorama / flikr

When Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education, 1935-46 was written in 1967, an overweight and severely alcoholic Jack Kerouac had only two years to live. Chronicling the years just before his adventures with Neal Cassady, his last complete volume takes Jack from the football fields of high school, to the dangerous seas of World War II, and finally to a New York City brimming … [Read more...]

Dr. Sax by Jack Kerouac

Dr. Sax by Jack Kerouac

Dr. Sax is one of Jack Kerouac's most troubling books for readers, peering behind the curtain of his childhood rather than exploring those later years of Beats and bodhisattvas. Nevertheless, it remains a startling achievement, unique not only among Kerouac's works, but among those books that it seems to mirror. It is primarily a book about growing up, similar to such … [Read more...]

Bill Ectric – Tamper

Tamper - Bill Ectric

Tamper, the new book by Bill Ectric, frames itself as a boy named Whit's effort to comprehend his past. Did he have a prophetic dream about a bag of bones on the side of the road? Did his friend Paul Clemmons really disappear in a pile of leaves, never to emerge? It is not at all clear. What is clear is that Whit and his friend Roger live on the border of what we would call … [Read more...]

Beatitude Golden Anniversary: 1959-2009

Beatitude - Golden Anniversary

Beatitude Golden Anniversary 1959-2009 / Edited by Latif Harris and Neeli Cherkovski / Latif Harris / San Francisco /2009Beatitude magazine came into existence in 1959, in San Francisco's North Beach, the brainchild of Bob Kaufman, Allen Ginsberg and John Kelly. With Kelly acting as publisher, it quickly became a weekly outlet for the city's poetic talent. The next year, … [Read more...]

Poetry Review – Unhurried Vision by Michael Rothenberg

Unhurried Vision - Michael Rothenberg

Unhurried Vision La Alameda Press, Alburquerque, NM, 2004Unhurried Vision, and in this manner so it reads, from one new year to the next scribing a journal of living (1999) poetically in the moment, a creative endeavor of complex simplicity - as with the last moments of a moth in April's entry - "The Small Things in Life.""a tragedy we're here to … [Read more...]