Celebrate the life of Herbert Huncke!

Herbert Huncke celebration

Please come celebrate the life of Herbert Huncke on Friday, January 16, 2015, 7pm at the Beat Museum in San Francisco. Herbert Huncke was born in 1915; let's mark the centennial of his birth together!Participants include:Hilary Holladay, author of Herbert Huncke: The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat GenerationDennis McNally, author of Desolate Angel: Jack … [Read more...]

Wordsworth and the Beats: The Longevity of Influence

Wordworth & Kerouac

Although William Wordsworth once stated that he was “not a critic” and, in fact, “set little value upon the art” (Leitch 556), in his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” he nevertheless proposed and discussed several controversial ideas that would become key components to his literary philosophy, securing the “Preface” as a significant and influential addition to the cannon of … [Read more...]

Herbert Gold Kicks off his Tenth Decade with his 20th Novel

When a Psychopath Falls in Love by Herbert Gold

Jorvik Press has some exciting news:What does a prizewinning author do when he’s about to enter his tenth decade with a track record of more than 30 books, sound of mind and body, full of ideas, and still obsessed with characters he’s been developing for years? If you’re Herbert Gold, you write another novel. Just before his 90th birthday last March Herb was talking to … [Read more...]

William S. Burroughs centennial events at Lake Forest College

William S. Burroughs art

You are invited to join Lake Forest College in celebrating the 100th birthday of William S. BurroughsLake Forest College, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, is helping to curate a series of events connected to the William S. Burroughs centennial.1. Poetry in Performance: Gossamurmur, Gaza, Jaguar Harmonics Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel, Lake Forest College / … [Read more...]

Calling on Paul Bowles: Tangier, Morocco, August 1979

Paul Bowles (detail). Photo by Birgit Stephenson

Calling on Paul Bowles Tangier, Morocco, August 1979”There it is,” someone says, and in the darkness, in the distance, you can see Tangier sprawled across several hills, a white city illuminated by electric lights and veiled by a thin fog.After docking, disembarking and a wearisome wait to clear Moroccan customs, we take a taxi to our hotel, hurtling through the … [Read more...]

Paul Maher Jr. considers Kerouac’s Haunted Life

The Haunted Life and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac

The Haunted Life and Other Writings / Da Capo Press / March 11, 2014 / 208 pp.Seventy years ago, in May 1944, Jack Kerouac toiled over a novella-length work set in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was written at the prompting of his two newest friends, the mischievous nihilist Lucien Carr and the budding poet, Allen Ginsberg. He titled it The Haunted Life and it was never … [Read more...]

Kerouac Before the Jazz: a review of “The Haunted Life”

The Haunted Life and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac

There are some great lost manuscripts in American literature and some are truly lost. Ernest Hemingway famously lost the only draft of the first short stories he ever wrote on a French train. Most writers have "lost" manuscripts, conspicuously placed in quotes because those stories for whatever reason the writer has are socked away until after their deaths (interestingly, … [Read more...]

“Street Corner” and “Process”

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dandeluca/6778493258/ / dandeluca

A hypothetical encounter between poets Philip Lamantia and Bob Kaufman on a San Francisco street corner. Since both lived in the same North Beach neighborhood, loitered in the same cafes, and more than likely knew each other, this depicted encounter may actually have far-fetchedly occurred.K. is shifting from one foot to the other. He directs his utterances toward the cars … [Read more...]

Movie Review – Kill Your Darlings

KILL YOUR DARLINGS

Long before Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs would be celebrated as the poetical and political figureheads of a 'beat generation,' there was a murder.In the new film, Kill Your Darlings, the crime scene sets itself at Columbia University, 1944, when a young Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe) is introduced to the anarchic, pornographic mind of fellow student, … [Read more...]

Ginsberg and Lowell

Allen Ginsberg by Larry Keenan. Robert Lowell by Elsa Dorfman. Both copyright by their respective creators

the alignment of planets parents and the cost of going ensured that I missed the Albert Hall in 1965it was just an early disappointment and not outstanding because over years it joined many other disappointments too disappointing to recall too painful to listbut the night Ginsberg and Lowell read poetry at Saint Marks church in 1977 sat on stage or … [Read more...]

Neal Cassady Birthday Bash

Neal Cassady Birthday Bash 2014

Denver's 5th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash!Friday, Feburary 7th, 2014, 8pm Mercury Cafe / 2199 California Street / Denver, COFeaturing: Cathy, Jami and John Allen Cassady presenting a tribute to their mother, the late Carolyn CassadyThe David Amram QuartetJohn Sinclair and the Blues ScholarsChris ShugrueTickets available at the door ($25), or in … [Read more...]

Interview – Paul Maher Jr., author of Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac's On the Road

Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac's On the Road is an accurate, up-to-date, meticulously researched account of how Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, On the Road came to be written.Kerouac scholars Paul Maher Jr. (author of Kerouac: His Life and Work; editor Empty Phantoms: Interviews and Encounters with Jack Kerouac) and Stephanie Nikolopoulos bring to … [Read more...]

St. Huncke

St. Huncke

St. Huncke Christ was hung between the thieves and forgave them amid the blaze and fly buzz of Golgatha, maybe he finally reckoned that thievery is nothing if not a borrowing of glory, the grand barter that’s truly the only real commerce of this planet. Think of the nobility of stealing a typewriter, it’s metal mouth and teeth, its heaviness … [Read more...]

Six Poems by Patrick Mackay

image via sxc.hu/profile/ortonesque

Jack Spicer and the Loyalty Oath“The testing of a University faculty by oath is a stupid and insulting procedure. If this oath is to have the effect of eliminating Communists from the faculty, we might as logically eliminate murderers from the faculty by forcing every faculty member to sign an oath saying that he has never committed murder.” --Jack Spicer (Response to … [Read more...]

Review – The Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico

The Stray Bullet - William S. Burroughs in Mexico

The Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico by Jorge García-Robles, translated by Daniel C. Schechter / University of Minnesota Press / paperback / 978-0816680634 / 176 pages / October 2013In 1990, Jorge García-Robles, professor of literature, traveled from Mexico to meet and interview William S. Burroughs in Lawrence, Kansas. Much of the information presented in … [Read more...]

BIG SUR Film Preview in Selected Theatres – week of October 14, 2013!

Big Sur Movie Poster

Gathr Films has announced a series of one-day-only showings of Big Sur in indie theatres in selected cities across the USA the week of October 14, 2013. These screenings are in advance of the film's nationwide release on November 1, 2013.Here's your chance to see it before anyone else!Check out the schedule below & get the details...Gathr Films Serves Up National … [Read more...]

Beat Generation film – “Kill Your Darlings” trailer released!

KILL YOUR DARLINGS

Kill Your Darlings dramatizes an actual event that took place in 1944, as the writers who would later be identified with the Beat Generation became embroiled in a murder that made headlines.While attending Columbia University, Allen Ginsberg became friends with Lucien Carr who introduced him to Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs - and to David Kammerer, an older man who was … [Read more...]

For Beat’s Sake: An Interview with Carolyn Cassady

Off the Road - Carolyn Cassady

We all live inside history, and Carolyn Cassady has seen her share. Ms. Cassady was gracious and open when she sat for an interview at her home in Monte Sereno, not far from Los Gatos.Carolyn Cassady, best known for her relationships with husband Neal Cassady and novelist Jack Kerouac, is an attractive woman with an easy laugh. The fifth child of a Nashville biochemistry … [Read more...]

Review – The Beats: A Very Short Introduction by David Sterritt

The Beats: A Short Introduction by David Sterritt

The Beats: A Very Short Introduction by David Sterritt / Oxford University Press / 978-0-19-979677-9 / 126 pagesDavid Sterritt's work might be familiar to Beat or film aficionados through his previous books, which include Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the '50s, and Film, and Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility among others.In The Beats: A Very … [Read more...]

I Am San Francisco

Planet San Francisco / photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyeonthesky/257477210/">supernova3688 / CC BY

  I have witnessed the waterfront decay the ships disappear the piers given over to tourists and sunbathing sea lionsGone the Haight Theater in the old Haight Ashbury where as a kid I paid a dime to see two movies a serial and a newsreelGone the old Embassy Theater on Market Street where they spun the Wheel of Fortune playing Ten-O-Win with a busty … [Read more...]

On Being Corso’s Lover

On Being Corso's Lover by Jacqueline Kirkpatrick

In the Cadillac of my imagination unraveling in Corso's kitchen we eat verses of Homer for lunch.He becomes my Odysseus.My fingers are burnt and veins tapped. Our highs grow weary as we strum down fateful guitars.Black curls on blond curls while I imagine Degas would paint us both ballerinas. His strong calves curl raw around my dirty sheets, as I mount his … [Read more...]

Charged Vision: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

Jack Kerouac by Allen Ginsberg

The photographs of Allen Ginsberg recently were on display at the Jewish Contemporary Museum in San Francisco. Walking through the museum is like going on a jaunt through Beat History. A spritely Jack Kerouac followed by the drunk. A youthful William Burroughs, and the junky with withered skin. Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Robert La Vigne, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and of course, … [Read more...]

Cry, Exploration, Ceremony

Howl by Allen Ginsberg / Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko / Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich. Collage copyright Empty Mirror.

Oppositional postmodernist literature is associated with the Beat movement and came about after the terrible, unforeseen destruction of World War II. While the modernists were positive about the human spirit and mankind’s ability to progress to an ever better future, postmodernists posited that there is creative power in negativity and opposition as well as destructive … [Read more...]

The Beat Generation vs. “Beatniks”

beat beat beat

"Beatnik" is sometimes - incorrectly - used to describe to the Beat Generation writers and artists. We're going to straighten out the confusion for you! Here's an explanation of who the Beats were, and what the term "beatnik" is all about.What is the "Beat Generation"? "Beat Generation" refers to a group of writers who hit their creative stride in the 1940s-1960s. They … [Read more...]