Categories: Beatdom Updates

Possible Essay Topics for Beatdom #15

Every time we put out a new issue of Beatdom, we issue a general “call for submissions.” You can find the latest one here. Typically we receive a number of very similar essays, and have to choose between them. This is unfortunate, as often we’ll get two very good essays on similar topics, and ideally we’d like to print both, but they would be rather tedious for our readers.

While I don’t doubt that will happen again, I have compiled a list of suggested topics and ideas. Hopefully this will help potential contributors develop different ideas, rather than going for the same ones. We don’t mind having, say, two essays on Jack Kerouac or Allen Ginsberg, but when half of our submissions are essentially on the same subject, it seems like a waste of talent.

If someone submits an essay on one of the following topics, and I feel it is likely to be accepted, I will remove it from the list below. Until then, please use these as inspiration. These are not required topics, nor do they have to be followed exactly… They are just inspiration.

  • The Beats as having emerged from WWII
  • WWII as background to Beat movement
  • War in the works of William S. Burroughs
  • Jack Kerouac in the Navy
  • Peter Orlovsky in the Korean War
  • Allen Ginsberg’s contribution to the anti-war movement
  • The Beats and Peace
  • What was Gregory Corso saying in his poem, “Bomb”?
  • The Beats as part of a class/cultural/generational war
  • Influence of war literature or war culture on Beat (or non-Beat) literature
  • Did Kerouac support US intervention in Vietnam, or was he just kidding?
  • Burroughs’ “War Universe”
  • Relationship between Beats and Hippies (apolitical and political)
  • The war on drugs
  • Related “non-Beats/proto-Beats/neo-Beats” like HST, Bob Dylan, Charles Bukowski, etc, and their thoughts on or relationship with various wars or war in general
David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the founder and editor of Beatdom literary journal and the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs the Weird Cult and World Citizen: Allen Ginsberg as Traveller. His next book, High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism comes out in November, 2021.

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