Beatdom Updates

Beat Books and Other Updates

As 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to post a short update about Beatdom, our publications, and the state of Beat Studies for this year and next.

In March, we published Chris Kelso’s fascinating book, Burroughs and Scotland, which details the Beat writer’s relationship with Scotland. Beat Scene called it “A very welcome book” and 3AM said it was “a painstakingly researched account.”

This was followed by the release of Beatdom #21 in May. As our second pandemic issue, we made this available for free as a PDF file in addition to the usual print and Kindle versions. We know that it is difficult for people to get by and, sadly, literary journals tend to be an unaffordable luxury. We’d hate for anyone to go without. This issue was our second largest to date, at almost 250 pages, and was packed full of essays, interviews, reviews – and even a very rare piece of fiction by yours truly.

The latest Beatdom Books publication was High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism, which came out a little over a month ago and examines the arc of Hunter Thompson’s writing career, illuminating as never before the creation and collapse of his Gonzo literary style. Quillette called it “riveting… endlessly entertaining… compelling and downright forensic…”

As for 2022, we are proud to announce that the next Beatdom title will be a look at the friendship between Thomas Merton and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, written by Bill Morgan. We will announce a release date and title in the new year.

In March, we will publish Beatdom #22 – the Jack Kerouac centenary edition. This will also mark Beatdom’s 15th anniversary! It’s an exciting milestone for us and we hope to be able to put out another huge volume to celebrate. Bookmark for updates and follow us on social media @beatdom. The call for submissions remains open for another 10 days.

There are another few books we hope to publish in 2022. Those will – fingers crossed – be announced in the coming weeks.  

That’s all for Beatdom, but elsewhere in the world of Beat Studies, there is plenty to remark upon. Over the past year, we have seen various new books released, several of which we have reviewed here:

We also had the release of a short film about Allen Ginsberg. October also saw the 10th annual European Beat Studies conference, which was a great collaborative event featuring a lot of discussion from Beat experts and enthusiasts from around the world.

Upcoming titles include a book about ruth weiss edited by Estíbaliz Encarnación-Pinedo and Thomas Antonic and also Beat Feminisms: Aesthetics, Literature, Gender, Activism by Polina Mackay. Both of these will be reviewed here in the coming weeks or months. There is a book on Harold Norse also set to be published soon, though I know little about this one.

It is worth noting here as well that Simon Warner’s “Rock and the Beat Generation” Substack series of Beat articles and interviews is worth subscribing to.

Have I missed anything? If so, drop a comment and let me know.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Beat blessings on all of you. Here’s to a great 2022.

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the founder and editor of Beatdom literary journal and the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the Weird Cult, World Citizen: Allen Ginsberg as Traveller, and High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism.

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