Lowell Celebrates Kerouac again this year – this year “observing the 50th anniversary of the passing of Jack Kerouac in October of 1969 (October 21) and his continuing literary and cultural legacy”. Today (Friday) among the highlights – 7.15 – Remembrances of Billy Koumantzelis and Al Hinkle, hosted by Steve Edington, 8.30 David Amram and his band (at Zorba’s Music Hall on Market Street) – Saturday – 12:30 pm – Cathy Cassady Presentation. Cathy will present a program about her parents Neal and Carolyn – 2:00 pm – Annual Parker/LCK Lecture. Nancy Fox – “Jack Kerouac: Fifty Years Later” – 6:00 pm – The Brian Hassett Road Show. (Upstairs at the Old Worthen, 141 Worthern Street). Celebrations continue on Sunday with 1:30—4:00 pm – the Annual Amram Jam. Downstairs at the Old Worthen). For full details – see here (an illustrated schedule in the Lowell Sun) – or here
More Kerouac on Beatdom. – Don’t miss Simon Scott’s illuminating essay –
“Snyder, Kerouac, And The Dharma“. Kerouac intersects with Gary Snyder most obviously in The Dharma Bums, but let’s not forget Kerouac’s life-time, deep, Buddhist involvement. Let’s not forget the remarkable Scripture of the Golden Eternity. Let’s not forget (also) Wake Up and Some of the Dharma, two important and explicit Buddhist/historical texts. Catholic-Buddhist? Buddhist-Catholic? These books are essential documents in Kerouac’s testimony of transcendence.
Gerald Nicosia, Beat scholar and author of the Kerouac biography Memory Babe, has, as is well-known, had a difficult and fractious relationship with the Kerouac estate. His new book, Kerouac – The Last Quarter Century, among other things, goes over (and goes over quite comprehensively) some of that ground. Michael Corrigan reviews it here, Jim Feast reviews it here, Kevin Riordan reviews it here. Kurt Hemmer interviews Nicosia for the European Beat Studies Network – here (the transcript is of an interview, well worth reading, that took place, via e-mail, this past August)
Speaking of the European Beat Studies Network, it’s time for their annual conference (this year in Cyprus)
“Moving Geographies” is the theme this year – “Literatures of Travel and Migration”.
Franca Bellarsi – “From Literal to Textual Migration and Nomadism: Romantic Nature and Allen Ginsberg’s Ecopoetics”
Alexandre Ferrere – “Creative Environments: The Geo-poetics of Allen Ginsberg”
Tanguy Harma – “Tripping on the Threshold of the Doors: The Difficult Negotiation ofthe Visionary in Ginsberg’s Drug Poems”
Gordon Ball– Reading from his Memoir East Hill Farm – Seasons with Allen Ginsberg
are just some of the (the specifically Ginsberg-oriented) presentations
For more information (the full schedule) see here
oh, and did we forget to mention EBSN’s commemorative event earlier this month in Paris, a gathering at the old Beat Hotel (now the Realais Hotel du Vieux Paris), a celebration (in anticipation of next year’s 60th anniversary of the “Cut-Ups“)? – see here
A don’t-miss exhibition in London – (don’t-miss the Blake at the Tate show, but don’t miss this) – “Eternal Graffiti – British and American Avant-Garde Poetry” (at the Maughan Library, Kings College, London, through till December 14, curated by Jack Gleeson and John Wilby). Highlights include correspondence from Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, first editions of works by Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, and H.D., signed copies by William S Burroughs and Michael McClure, and rare publications by Gary Snyder and Amiri Baraka, amongst others.
Even if you can’t make it to London, a very useful document is this – the notes and information – an on-line guide to the exhibition – Ginsberg-Beat aficionados are recommended to peruse, in particular, “Case 3” – “People Who Do Not Read Are Not Happy”, and “Case 4” – “Greetings From Turtle Island – The Beats and the San Francisco Renaissance” (much of the material comes from the Kings’ College Eric Mottram collection) – but the whole show (all 9 Cases) is strongly recommended.