For the past few months, the world has been in turmoil. Life has been turned upside down for many of you and it has been difficult for us, too. We debated whether to release Beatdom #20 in May as usual or to leave it until everything returns to normal. In the end, we have decided to push ahead with publication, albeit on 1st June rather than 1st May, as we had planned.
It was not an easy decision to make. On the one hand, we do not want to place more of a burden upon the delivery networks that are holding societies together, but at the same time, we understand that books are a real lifeline for people stuck at home right now. Ultimately, we decided that we are giving people something that can make their lives a little better while stuck in lockdown.
Besides, did we really want to put off Beatdom #20 until 2021? Nope. The year 2020 is just too perfect for bringing out the 20th issue.
As usual, this issue of Beatdom will be available on Kindle as well as in print format. We understand that deliveries may be impossible in some places right now, but hopefully most of you can still order non-essential items from Amazon and other retailers.
Beatdom #20 will also be given away for free as a PDF file. We know that life is pretty dismal for many people at the moment and the number of unemployment claims is soaring. Spending money – even a few dollars – on a literary journal might not be possible for many people right now, but we still want them to be able to enjoy Beatdom. On 1st June, when the print and Kindle issues are made available, we will upload the PDF file here.
First of all, you should always judge a book by its cover… or at least you can judge our books by theirs because they have fantastic covers.
Once again, the artwork was done by Mr. Waylon Bacon, illustrator, director, and creator of Frownland comics. He has produced many covers from the Beatdom archives:
As you can see from the cover, we have a sort of theme for this issue, which is “post-Beat.” This was not a pre-determined theme. We were attempting to have an open issue with any Beat-related work considered, but in the end most of the best material was related to the second-wave and post-Beat movements.
As such, we have essays on Hunter S. Thompson, Diane di Prima, Denise Levertov, and Bob Kaufman, among others.
Here is the line-up:
Table of Contents
|Hunter S. Thompson and the Beat Generation||David S. Wills|
|The Absomunist Revisited: The Complex Mythology of Bob Kaufman||Ryan Mathews|
|The Encounter Robinsonian: Weldon Kees and Denise Levertov, April–October 1955||James Reidel|
|Pregnancy always makes me want to fuck more: Sexual and Maternal Desire Entanglements in Diane di Prima||Ambar Geerts|
|William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Drugs, and Control: When the Beats Split into the Hippies and the Punks||Westley Heine|
|Interview with John Sampas||David Daniel|
|Fear and Loathing in Utero||Leon Horton|
|2 Poems||Eliot Katz|
|Chasing Hunter’s Literary Persona Through the Pages: A conversation with Hunter S. Thompson scholar, Dr. Rory Patrick Feehan||Noel Dávila|
|Review of Kerouac: The Last Quarter Century||Robert Niemi|
|The Beaten Generation: Burroughs, Ginsberg, Thompson… and the Battle of Chicago||Leon Horton|
|A Shoe that Fits the Mind: Review of Ginsberg’s South American Journals||David S. Wills|
As you can see, there is quite a mix of material. The interview with John Sampas (previously unpublished) and the review of Gerald Nicosia’s Kerouac: The Last Quarter Century are intended to be read side-by-side as they both present very different perspectives on the Kerouac estate troubles.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept pre-order payments at the moment. Due to the current situation, it is impossible to know whether or not we will be able to ship orders on time. We will send out reminders when Beatdom #20 goes on sale (1st June) through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and e-mail. If you wish to be added to the Beatdom mailing list, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will, however, leave a PayPal donation button here for anyone who wishes to support Beatdom during this challenging time. Your donations will go towards keeping the journal alive and continuing our efforts to publish the best in Beat scholarship.