Television Takes on the Beat Generation
In the late 1950s, television was dominated by Westerns: Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Have Gun Will Travel, and Bonanza. At a time when there were only three channels, 15 to 17 million households a week were tuning in to these shows. To give a sense of the allure of the Beat Generation, in a […]
ruth weiss at Monroe, June 15, 2016
Video from ruth weiss' June 15, 2016, performance at Monroe (formerly the Jazz Workshop), accompanied by Doug O'Connor (bass), Rent Romus (sax), and Hal Davis (percussion).
ruth weiss in Memoriam
We’re saddened to learn that ruth weiss—poet, playwright, performer, and artist—departed the world July 31, 2020 at age 92. ruth was a truly remarkable woman. Born in 1928 in Berlin, ruth and her family fled the rise of Nazism to Vienna in 1933, and then narrowly escaped to Amsterdam, before coming to America in 1939. […]
Arrested for Selling Howl: The Shig Murao Story
Soon after Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin opened the City Lights Pocket Book Shop in 1953, they hired Shigeyoshi Murao as their first clerk. Shig was young and charismatic, with an infectious geniality that became as integral a part of the bookstore’s culture as the paperbound volumes on its shelves. Shig Murao was born in […]
‘Rebel Roar’: The Sound of Michael McClure
Credit: Kurt Hemmer & Tom Knoff, Harper College. Rebel Roar: The Sound of Michael McClure explores the poetry and thoughts of one of the original Beat poets. McClure’s relationship and influence on Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, and the ’60s counter-culture are examined. Through readings and candid discussion of his work, new light is shed on […]
Credit: Kurt Hemmer & Tom Knoff, Harper College. An intimate portrait of legendary photographer Larry Keenan capturing the transformation of the Beat Generation into the burgeoning 60’s rock counterculture and his visionary work beyond.
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.