We’re over halfway through the year, so it’s a bit late for this, but here we go nonetheless. Better late than never, eh?
A list of books about the Beat Generation published in 2023:
The Secret History of Gregory Corso in Vermont, by Kurt Hemmer
An excerpt from Hemmer’s forthcoming biography of the poet, this chapbook was published in February by Beat Scene Press as part of a 125-copy print run. It is a look into the life of Corso at seventeen years of age, based upon newly uncovered information. Contact the publisher at beatscene.net for ordering info.
Riding Pegasus Bareback: Notes on Gregory Corso, by Gregory Stephenson
One of two new chapbooks by Stephenson published in 2023. I have not read this one (yet), so here’s the synopsis copied from Amazon:
Notes on Gregory Corso’s lost poems & last poems, comments on various of his verse plays, together with an account of a larcenous episode (long-hidden) from the poet’s hapless youth. Photos and illustrations.
Best Minds: How Allen Ginsberg Made Revolutionary Poetry from Madness, by Stevan M. Weine
An interesting new book about Allen Ginsberg, which we reviewed in Beatdom #23. The review is also online here. Weine explores madness in the life and work of Allen Ginsberg, a vast and fascinating topic indeed. Buy the book here.
The Beats and the Academy: A Renegotiation, by Erik Mortenson and Tony Trigilio
A collection of work on the subject of the Beats and academia. These look into the history of Beat Studies and the relationship between the famously non-academic Beats and the academy that has, in various ways, attempted to deal with them. This was reviewed in Beatdom #23. It can be ordered here.
Ray Bremser: Disciple of Kerouac & Coltrane, by Matz McLaughlin
Bremser is an understudied figure too often on the peripheries of Beat Studies. McLaughlin has written a short chapbook, published by Water Row Books, which digs into his poetry. You can see our review here.
Memory Babe, by Gerald Nicosia
This is actually a new edition of an older book, but as it is substantially revised then it ought to be included here. This was meant to be released in 2022 for the Kerouac centenary, but the author was badly injured and pushed back the release date until June, 2023. Read a long review here.
Truth and Beautiful Meaningful Lies: A Collection of Jack Kerouac Quotes, by Jim Sampas
A collection of quotes by Jack Kerouac. I have not read this one and generally I’m not interested in collections of quotes. However, I assume this will probably be a nice addition to people’s collections of Kerouac books. It’s on Amazon here.
Material Wealth: Mining the Personal Archive of Allen Ginsberg, by Pat Thomas
This looks exciting. Coming in September, we have a new volume by Allen Ginsberg… or rather an annotated look through his archive courtesy of Pat Thomas. (Thomas wrote this for Beatdom in 2014.) I can’t wait to read what looks like a strange and wonderful new volume. I will try to review it when I can get a copy, but for now here’s a sneak preview from the Allen Ginsberg Estate.
And the Rivers Therefore: Reflections on Riverine Imagery in the Writing of Jack Kerouac, by Gregory Stephenson
I’ve been very impressed by Stephenson’s numerous investigations into dark corners of Beat history and so I was excited to receive a copy of his latest work, a chapbook on Kerouac. It is published by Felix Culpa Press in England. It can be purchased here. I’ll be reviewing it in the next few days…
And one more…
Ok, it’s not a book but forthcoming in October is The Fall of America II, a new album of Ginsberg material recorded by the likes of Ai Weiwei and Thurston Moore. Pre-order here.
What about Beatdom?
Beatdom Books will not be putting out a new title in 2023. Our latest was Bill Morgan’s Thomas Merton, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, And The Protection Of All Beings, published in late 2022. Our next will likely be in 2024. We did, however, manage to put out a book-length edition of the journal in May, which you can learn about here.
Have I forgotten anything? Almost certainly. Please let me know if I need to add any books to the list.