Banned Books Week & the Beats

For those of you who don’t know – and that won’t be many in this age of Twitter & Facebook – it is Banned Books Week. This valuable celebration of the First Amendment was begun in 1982 Judith Krug, and is celebrated annually in the last week of September. During each Banned Books Week we are asked to celebrate books whose freedom has been ensured by the First Amendment and to remember those titles against...

Read More

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Tribute

On October 2nd, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his Beat bookstore and publisher, City Lights, will receive Litquake’s 2010 Barbary Award at Herbst Theater. The celebration will be attended by Tom Waits,  Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Winona Ryder, Michael McClure and Eric Drooker. Ferlinghetti and City Lights are being celebrated for their roles in San Francisco literary history. These names should be familiar to any Beat Generation fans....

Read More

First Thought, Best Thought?

It could be argued that immediacy was the style of the Beats. Certainly it was Ginsbergs’, and Kerouac professed to be driven by “Spontaneous Prose.” In the years following World War II improvisation and free-flowing first thought were integral to art. Jackson Pollack, Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie… It wasn’t just the Beats. These artists were screaming in the face of a crushing conformity, and it was their apparent spontaneous...

Read More

Howl is Here

This weekend sees the release of perhaps the most eagerly awaited movie ever for fans of the Beat Generation. (Skepticism regarding On the Road precludes it from taking the title, although it may well turn out to be great movie.) On 24th September, 2010, Howl was released in cinemas and V.O.D cable throughout the United States. The movie had already wowed critics after taking the opening night spot at the Sundance Film Festival. For...

Read More

Issue Eight Update

Thanks to everyone who’s thus far contributed to Beatdom’s eighth issue. I know it’s a long time coming, but be patient – it’ll be here in January, and it’ll be better than ever. The theme of this issue, as you know, if SEX. We’ll be examining the Beats and their thoughts on, and references to,  sex. We have essays on Tom Waits and Charles Burkowski’s interest in waitresses, a glimpse at...

Read More

Link Dump

Here are a few links you might be interested in: Allen Ginsberg’s fourteen steps for revising poetry Allen Ginsberg’s poetic practicum David S. Wills at Hunter S. Thompson’s house On William S. Burroughs’ collaboration with Kurt Cobain Michael Hendrick K2 criminalisation “Johnny Depp” – a poem by Tim Burton Interview with the directors of “Howl” about penis forests A huge update...

Read More

Jeff Nuttall: British Beat

I was looking through my old books today and stumbled upon a first edition, numbered copy of Jeff Nuttall’s Pig. Published in 1969, this weird little book of cut-up prose-poetry features a glowing preface from none other than the master of the cut-up, William S. Burroughs. I don’t really know where I got this book, or when. It must have come along in my last blurry years at university. Possibly it was gift from my favourite tutor, or...

Read More

Jack Kerouac Literary Festival

If you’re anywhere near Lowell next weekend, you might want to swing by the Jack Kerouac Festival – an annual celebration of the life and literature of Kerouac. Organised by Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! Inc., this is the 25th annual festival and is held from September 30th-October 3rd. One of this year’s highlights will be a performance by David Amram. There’s more about it on the LCK! website...

Read More