October Ghost

JK - Kerouac typewriter

The smudged days of October—when my mood is hand in hand with the weather—remind me of Jack Kerouac. He died in October, on the 21st, and the anniversary of that day always comes and goes like a local subway suddenly gone express. I watch it pass, thinking I should do something, somehow commemorate the event, but I never do anything at all.I am aware that it is no longer … [Read more...]

Ted Joans website in works; photos sought!

Ted Joans Lives!

For several years, there's been a very small, basic website devoted to Ted Joans. Now, it's time to go big.The new website will launch in April 2015. But, before that happens, I need to track down some photos and information. We'll be sure to credit you for anything you can supply! (And, I'll send you a free TED JOANS LIVES! letterpress postcard - just ask.)Here's what … [Read more...]

Book Review – Ivy League Bohemians by Alison Winfield Burns

Ivy League Bohemians by Alison Winfield Burns

It is an irony of the Beat Generation and New York Schools that little is written about the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Founded at Naropa University in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the school aspires to cultivate “contemplative and experimental approaches to writing,” and to this end, for the last forty years the school’s been the gathering grounds … [Read more...]

The Howl Hat

Allen Ginsberg - HOWL

My friend Sylvain went to San Francisco recently and brought us back some souvenirs as gifts. One of the places he'd visited on his trip had been City Lights Books. He brought me a t-shirt from there. And he also brought me one of the most complicated objects I’ve ever had in my possession: a khaki-colored baseball cap emblazoned with the word HOWL in large, black capital … [Read more...]

The Road Toward Visions of Cody

The Road to Visions of Cody

In March 2015, Jack Kerouac's masterpiece, Visions of Cody, will be reprinted by Library of America (along with Visions of Gerard and Big Sur). Edited by Todd Tietchen, the novel has been extensively annotated with notes and a number of editorial idiosyncrasies restored.  * * * In the months following Jack Kerouac's April 1951 typing of On the Road, an act born out of a need … [Read more...]

Beat Generation Poet to Get New Voice with Kickstarter Campaign

The Whole Shot: Interviews with Beat poet Gregory Corso

A collection of rare and out-of-print interviews with Gregory Corso, one of the founders of the Beat movement in American literatureArlington, MA, February 11, 2015 -- After five years of research and editing, Rick Schober, publisher at Tough Poets Press (Arlington, MA), has announced the completion of The Whole Shot: Collected Interviews with Gregory Corso.The … [Read more...]

Vast Regions from Nowhere: Paul Bowles, Unfathered Authors, Mother-Bonded Sons

Bowles & I

“I think that having spent my life trying to hide everything from everyone, I’ve ended up by no longer being able to find many things myself. Seriously.” —Paul Bowles, 1975 The Core “Other people’s indifference is the only horror.” —Paul Bowles, 1948The first time I read a word of Paul Bowles, I was sitting on a bench in the zócalo in Oaxaca, Mexico, around twilight. It … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac’s “Strange Cemetery in Jamaica”

In the background, the "gastank" can be seen which is actually a water tank for the railroad.

--- from a work-in-progress, I, Duluoz!: An Appreciation of Jack KerouacIf I had to pick my favorite poem of Jack Kerouacʼs, it would be “Strange Cemetery in Jamaica” published in Some of the Dharma (1997). Strangely, or even tragically, it was omitted from the Library of America volume of Kerouacʼs Collected Poems, as it signifies Kerouacʼs creative breakthrough of … [Read more...]

An interview on Jack Kerouac and Library of America

Jack Kerouac - Library of America

March 2015 will mark the occasion of the publication of the third volume of Jack Kerouac works published by Library of America. I took this occasion to catch up with editor, Todd Tietchen, assistant professor of English at University of Massachusetts Lowell. The book is a chronological publishing continuum of the first volume and contains the groundbreaking novel Visions of … [Read more...]

The Great Consciousness of Life


Reaching in, pulling out. The great divide is conquered; and there lies an ever-evolving mission to extract meaning from chaos. This, then, is where it resides, the theater of the soul and the heart.In rewriting my biography of Jack Kerouac, I found that the only way to revisit that book once again was to take all of Jack Kerouac's epic letters to Neal Cassady, all of … [Read more...]

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. 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


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...]