Archives For January 2011

Beatdom #8 Released!!!

It’s been a long wait, folks, but it’s finally here… Beatdom’s SEX issue. That’s right. An issue of your favourite Beat magazine devoted to the most stimulating of subjects: sex.

In this titillating Beat outing we bring you:

A guide to Jack Kerouac’s sex life

Bob Dylan: Romance & the Rolling Stone

An interview with Carolyn Cassady

An exploration of male and female Beat poetry

The life of Elise Cowen

Plus poetry, art and fiction from some of the best writers of today

and much, much, much more.

To purchase this issue and any from our back catalogue, please visit the City of Recovery Press store, or click the link below.

To read the magazine online for free, click here.

Please help Beatdom to reach a wider audience by passing these links to your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Haruki Murakami on Jack Kerouac

From the 2001 novel, Sputnik Sweetheart:

“The first time Sumire met Miu, she talked to her about Jack Kerouac’s novels. Sumire was absolutely nuts about Kerouac. She always had her Literary Idol of the Month, and at that point it happened to be the out-of-fashion Kerouac. She carried a dog-eared copy of On The Road or Lonesome Traveler stuck in her coat pocket, thumbing through it every chance she got. Whenever she ran across lines she liked, she’d mark them in pencil and commit them to memory like they were the Holy Writ. Her favorite lines were from the fire lookout section of Lonesome Traveler. Kerouac spent three lonely months in a cabin on top of a high mountain, working as a fire lookout.

Sumire especially like this part: “No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even border solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.” “Don’t you just love it?” she said. “Every day you stand on top of a mountain, make a three hundred sixty degree sweep, checking to see if there are any fires. And that’s it. You’re done for the day. The rest of the time you can read, write, whatever you want. At night scruffy bears hang around your cabin. That’s the life! Compared with that, studying literature in college is like chomping down on the bitter end of a cucumber.” “OK,” I said, “but someday you’ll have to come down off the mountain.”

As usual, my practical, humdrum opinions didn’t faze her. Sumire want to be like a character in a Kerouac novel, wild, cool, dissolute. She’d stand around, hands shoved deep in her coat pockets, her hair an uncombed mess, staring vacantly at the sky through her black, plastic-frame Dizzy Gillespie glasses, which, she wore despite her twenty-twenty vision. She was invariably decked out in an oversize herring-bone coat from a secondhand store and a pair of rough work boots. (And had, I’m certain) she had been able to grow a beard, she would have.”

Outlaw Poet

Beatdom is proud to recommend the forthcoming documentary, Outlaw Poet: A Documentary on Ron Whitehead. His name may well be familiar to fans of the Beat Generation. Ron’s work has been praised by Allen Ginsberg (“Ron Whitehead is energetic Bodhisattvic poetic spirit! Happy to see and read so much poetry energy!”), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (“Ron is a real visionary!”), Carolyn Cassady (“His poems and his reading of them are pure genius.”), and Hunter S. Thompson (“I have long admired Ron Whitehead. He is crazy as nine loons, and his poetry is a dazzling mix of flok wisdom and pure mathematics.”).

Nick Frost is the filmmaker charged with documenting the life of Ron Whitehead. He needs to raise the necessary cash in a short amount of time, so he has started a Kickstarter page. Please considering donating or sharing the link. He also has a website and a Facebook page to help bring supporters together.

You can read more about Ron at his website:

Haydn Lock

Beatdom has been fortunate enough to have stumbled upon many brilliant artists during its short life. The latest in this long line is Haydn Lock, whose cartoons will grace the pages of our SEX issue.

In the interest of secrecy, we will not publish here the illustrations he has provided for the magazine… we have, instead, two images he has produced exclusively for the website, featuring Beat icons William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

Please take the time to visit the artist’s website:

One Space or Two?

Prior to the advent of the typewriter, convention said that one space should be inserted after a period and not two. During the reign of those clunky machines and their odd spaced type, two-spacing become customary. Unfortunately, even with the rise of the computer and intelligent publishing software, two-spacers are still in the majority.

Of course, one-spacing is, like all publishing standards and writing customs, a matter of consensus and fashion. There is no grand reason for it to be set as some writing law. There is no right way to write.

Publishers, though, need rules to help them publish magazines and books that are easy on the eye, and in this respect two-spacing proves problematic. Text with two-spaces following the period looks silly in print. There are too many large gaps. Of course, that’s yet another opinion. Some people also say that capitalization ruins a body of text, that literature looks better entirely in lower case. Some also say that quotation marks are unnecessary.

The Beat Generation existed during the reign of the typewriter. They were two-spacers, whereas their pen-wielding predecessors were one-spacers. The Beats were not much for convention, though. They were famous for, if nothing else, breaking the rules. So why should a supposedly Beat magazine care for custom and convention?

Here at Beatdom we have fewer rules than most, and we give our contributors more time than perhaps it is wise to do. We have a slim set of rules for submission, and yet they are rarely followed. This is understandable, since most writers will scour the internet for publications and simply fire off form letters. That’s the way it goes, and to dismiss every error-ridden, ill-formatted submission is to potentially miss a truly great piece of writing.

On our submission page, though, it states that writers should NOT use two-spaces after a period. This is because it looks bad in print and costs our editor(s) countless hours of their precious time in an extremely boring task. It is, of course, the job of the editor to make text presentable, but it is infuriating when so many writers ignore explicit instruction.

But this post is not meant to be a lecture, nor even an addition to the submission guidelines. Beatdom has stated its opinion on this contentious issue and would like to know more of what its readers think.

Burroughs & Ginsberg in Chicago

If you’re near Chicago, you might want to check out a very hip new exhibition featuring artwork by William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. The exhibition marks the Chicago premiere of Yony Leyser’s William S. Burroughs: A Man Within.

More details here.

The Sex Issue Cover

Here it is, folks, the cover of Beatdom’s long-awaited SEX issue:

Once again it was brilliant French artist Isaac Bonan who created this wonderful cover. Thanks, Isaac!

Here, also, are two preliminary sketches… For a long time we toyed with the idea of putting a nude female on the cover, but ultimately we thought that the way forward was the mysterious hand on the crotch.