Archives For birthday

Beatdom Turns 8

It was about eight years ago that I founded Beatdom magazine. I don’t remember the exact date and I didn’t keep a journal back then, but a while ago I was able to trace the date down to about mid-to-late-May of 2007, and so every year at this time we celebrate our birthday.

Back then I was just about to graduate from university and I realized that the job market was pretty dire for people with an MA in Literature and no other real life experience. I started the literary journal as a way of cheating the system… It was, you could say, an odd choice. A more experienced person might have observed that literary journals seldom make the sort of money one could live on. Continue Reading…

Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday (Suit)

Today would’ve been Allen Ginsberg’s 88th birthday. This is how he celebrated in 1965:

Allen Ginsberg naked

“…took off all my clothes at 39th birthday party drunk singing and dancing naked, the Beatles came at midnight and got scared and ran away…”

There is a longer explanation, largely culled from Barry Miles’ retelling, here.



In a brilliant turn of near-poetic irony, Facebook has deleted the above photo. Yes, it violates their terms of service. It was to be expected. But, you have to admire the irony of censoring a man who is most famous for fighting censorship.

Ginsberg once said, “The poet always stands naked before the world,” and he lived by those words. Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk are simply trying to keep Facebook as low-brow as possible, to ensure the idiotic masses are kept rapt by pictures of what their friends had for dinner, or “10 reasons why Kim Kardashian is like so totally fucking important right now.”

Racism is fine.

Sexism is fine.

Homophobia is fine.

The human body? Nope. It’s an outrage!


Celebrate Jack Kerouac’s Birthday with The Haunted Life

Today is 12th March, and that means it’s Jack Kerouac’s birthday. Every year, people celebrate by embarking upon road trips, holding readings, or just sitting down with a dog-eared copy of On the Road or Big Sur.

In recent years, interest in Kerouac and his work (as well as that of his contemporaries) is strong as ever. We’ve had movies and books continuing his legacy, and in time for his birthday we also have the release of a long-though lost novella, The Haunted Life.

Set in Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, The Haunted Life was written in 1944, following the murder of David Kammerer. As such, this piece of writing comes from an important period in Kerouac’s life. It is also a fascinating insight into the author’s development, as the book is very different to his later works, but not entirely dissimilar to his first novel, The Town and the City.

To read an except, please visit The Guardian’s website. To purchase the book, which also contains notes, letters, and sketches from during its composition, please click the link below…



Happy Birthday, Lawrence Ferlinghetti!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is the owner of City Lights Bookstores & Publishers of San Francisco. As the publisher of some of the most important works in Beat (and literary) history, as well as a great poet in his own right, Ferlinghetti holds a special place in the hearts of all of us here at Beatdom. He has made tremendous contributions to the world of literature and to the city of San Francisco.

Let’s all wish him a happy 92nd birthday.