Kerouac’s Letter Home, July 29th, 1947
A letter from Jack Kerouac to his mother, Gabrielle, after reaching Denver, includes some fascinating details at a pivotal moment the nascent writer's career, during his first journey west.
As We Cover the Streets: Janine Pommy Vega
Credit: Kurt Hemmer & Tom Knoff, Harper College. As We Cover the Streets: Janine Pommy Vega intersperses photographs and descriptions of Vega’s peripatetic life with an extraordinary performance of her reading poetry from 2002. Vega, inspired by reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, joined the burgeoning Greenwich Village Beat scene in the late 1950s. As […]
Podcast: Steven Taylor – Life with Allen Ginsberg
Steven Taylor speaks with Ken Jordan on The Evolver.Listen to the podcast here. Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg was the most famous poet in America. But he was also a theorist, a strategist, and the counterculture field marshal who directed the troops of radical cultural change – revered by Tim Leary, Bob Dylan and John Lennon. It’s […]
Wow! Ted Joans Lives!
Wow! Ted Joans Lives! is a visual and aural collage by Kurt Hemmer and Tom Knoff examining the life and works of the legendary, tri-continental poet Ted Joans, who was born in Cairo, Illinois on 4 July 1928 and went on to become one of the significant poets of his generation performing his work in […]
Sorry, Bay Area. Herb Caen did NOT coin the term “Beatnik”
For the last sixty years, a commonly held belief by many “in the know” San Franciscans is the term "beatnik" was coined by the legendary San Francisco columnist, Herb Caen. It was Caen, of course, who first used the term in his daily column in the San Francisco Chronicle on April 2nd, 1958.
The Murder that Almost Wasn’t
The libertine circle that was to assume the mantle of the “Beat Generation” and become literary outlaws through the 1950s had its first brush with notoriety in August of 1944, when Lucien Carr murdered David Kammerer in Riverside Park, New York. The story is no doubt familiar to even the casual reader, and it’s been […]
Neal Cassady on TV in 1961
by Dave Moore In October 1961 Neal Cassady appeared on a 45-minute TV programme called “PM West.” It was hosted by Terrence O’Flaherty, the SF Chronicle film critic, was filmed on 7 October 1961 at KPIX Channel 5 in San Francisco, and broadcast on 25 October. Titled “Epitaph on a Beatnik,” the guests were Shig […]
“I love America. I hate the system.” –Amiri Baraka
Everett LeRoi Jones was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1932. He started writing poetry while working in a library during a stint in the US Air Force and later met and published many members of the Beat Generation in numerous periodicals such as Yugen, Kulchur, The Floating Bear Press, and Totem Press. Jones was a well […]
The Future of The Beat Museum
After the virus...then what?
David Amram & Jerry Cimino Live
At Beatnik Shindig 2015, musician, composer, author, and raconteur David Amram performed with Jerry Cimino, reading from Ferlinghetti, Kerouac, and Ginsberg, sharing stories, perspectives, insights, and some sage wisdom for the ages.
Human Be-In Mini Documentary
Directed by Jesse Block On January 14, 1967, a massive “Gathering of the Tribes” was convened in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for a Human Be-In (named in the same mode as the sit-ins and teach-ins of the civil rights and anti-war movements preceding it). The event served multiple purposes, one being to bring together […]