Lawrence and Me
Jun15

Lawrence and Me

Clearing out the garage Going through mountains of books Nooks and nooks of books Old English lit books New York and London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1897 Gibbon, Goldsmith, Bentley, Dryden, Coleridge, De Quincey, Wordsworth . . . Bonobos, Silverjones, Rolls, Wetcave, Oilvalley, U Adams, Numbersunworthy . . . And what to my wondering eyes should I find But old friend Lawrence paperback Ferlinghetti-o I say old friend because I...

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Naropa Turns 40
Apr17

Naropa Turns 40

This Sunday, April 20th, Naropa University – which was founded by Tungpa Rinpoche and was America’s first accredited Buddhist university – turns forty years old. Since the beginning, it included an English department known as the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, which was founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. To mark the event there will be a reading at City Lights Bookshop in San Francisco –...

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William S. Burroughs: Botanist
Aug04

William S. Burroughs: Botanist

In 1953, William S. Burroughs published his first novel, Junkie, which ended with the ominous line, “Yage may be the final fix.” Burroughs had written the novel during his travels in 1950-52, when he was living in Mexico, as well as visiting Panama, Peru, Columbia and Ecuador. The line was meant to anticipate Junkie’s sequel, Queer, about his travels in South America, although the book wasn’t released released until 1985. Burroughs...

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After the Deluge
Jan04

After the Deluge

“What are you rebelling against?” the local girl asks one of the “saintly motorcyclists” in the 1953 movie The Wild One, and Marlon Brando drawls, “Whaddaya got?” That’s a biography in brief of  French poet Arthur Rimbaud, who revolutionized literature and then abandoned it at age nineteen.   He was born October 20, 1854, in Charleville, France. When he was six, his father, Capt. Frederic Rimbaud, left his wife, two sons, two...

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The Beat Rap Sheet
Dec22

The Beat Rap Sheet

But yet, but yet, woe, woe unto those who think that the Beat Generation means crime, delinquency, immorality, amorality … woe unto those who attack it on the grounds that they simply don’t understand history and the yearning of human souls … woe in fact unto those who those who make evil movies about the Beat Generation where innocent housewives are raped by beatniks! … woe unto those who spit on the Beat...

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The City Lights Bookstore: the Beatnik’s Mecca
Jan10

The City Lights Bookstore: the Beatnik’s Mecca

  There are few places around the globe that fully encompass all things Beat Generation in the same way as the City Lights Bookstore. Situated in the heart of San Francisco and owned by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the most prolific Beat Generation poets there is, the City Lights Bookstore is a Mecca for all beatniks and book lovers. A visit to City Lights is enough to transport anyone back to simpler times where you can focus...

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DVD Reviews: The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs: A Man Within
Nov23

DVD Reviews: The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs: A Man Within

Review by Michael Hendrick; Photo by Jerry Aronson A look around at the landscape of today’s world reveals cultural melee and sexual malaise.  Everybody looks the same – and not in a good way.  To paraphrase Fran Lebowitz, we have been recycling the same culture for the last thirty years waiting for something new. Where do we find not only something new but something that is helpful and healing, a balm for the new age of...

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Happy Birthday, Bob Kaufman!

On this day in 1925, Bob Kaufman was born. From Beatdom Issue One: Bob Kaufman: The Unsung Beat Overview It always baffles me to find Bob Kaufman omitted from a great many books and documentaries and websites and talk about the Beat Generation. For me, Kaufman is the embodiment of Beat. That is not to say that the more well known names and faces did not embody the spirit they are most widely credited with creating and fulfilling, but...

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