Beatdom Books is delighted to announce the release of Beat Poetry by Larry Beckett. The book will go on sale Monday 5th November.
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 discs, 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.”
Here’s what early readers are saying:
Scholarship dances with poetic intuition and insight. Skip the
footnotes, or not. Larry Beckett generates where it’s at, cats.
—Dan Barth, poet and Beat scholar, author of
Fast Women Beautiful: Zen, Beat, Baseball Poems
I was genuinely knocked-out by [this] book. A generous & insightful work on poets writ w/ a poet’s mindful heart. Because of its timeline, I assume (& hope) there will be more. It would seem immodest for me to blast a blurb, but my enthusiasm is genuine & immediate.
Larry Beckett’s vivid, highly readable testament to the Beats provides a useful introduction to this wild-side school-out-of-school of American poetry, identifying the movement’s twentieth century “oral scripture” (to quote his essay on Philip Whalen) as enduring Gospel for the Millennium.
— Tom Clark
poet, author of Jack Kerouac: A Biography
Oh sure, it’s all these poems by poets whose names sing in our blood as the heart pumps; but it took Larry Beckett to marry ink to paper in such a way that it appears the words are written on wedding sheets.
— Robin Rule
poet, publisher of Beckett’s Songs and Sonnets