Beatdom Books is delighted to announce the acquisition of Beat Poetry by Larry Beckett, due to be published in the summer of 2012.

Beat Poetry full cover

It is the only book to date centering on the poetry of the Beat Generation. Sure, there are anthologies, sociologies, encyclopedias, collections of photographs and interviews, and studies on the individual Beats. But this is an entirely different beast. Beat Poetry is the missing link.

Beat Poetry takes the poems of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, John Wieners, Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lew Welch, David Meltzer, and Bob Kaufman, and examines each in detail, casting new light on an important period in literary and cultural history.

In each case, close reading is accompanied by quotations from essential precursors in mainstream poetry. For example, Ginsberg’s “Howl” Part I, is shown to have been in part inspired by Old Testament prophets, Whitman’s catalogs, Crane’s “The Bridge”, Williams’ “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”, Rexroth’s “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, and Kerouac’s improvised prose. These clear parallels show the Beat poets to be more literary than their street reputation suggests.
Beat Poetry, which can serve as a textbook, includes a timeline which indicates exactly when and where the texts were composed, and an extensive bibliography, including available compact disks, important to a movement launched at a reading and centering on orality. The book’s ideas converge on defining beat in Kerouac’s terms: “beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction.”


Previous Beatdom Books publications include Spencer Kansa’s Zoning and David S. Wills’ The Dog Farm. Coming this year are Michael Hendrick’s Egypt Cemetery and Beatdom: The Interviews.