December 18, 2018

The next chapbook in the Beat Scene series is BOB DYLAN: THE POET’S POET by Michael McClure. As ever, in an issue of 125 numbered copies. This is an extended essay written in 1974. We thought it time to revive it. Orders being taken now. Contact me at

I’ve been sending out Beat Scene 90. All subscriber copies are now posted. Big thanks to you all – without you the magazine would not exist. All contributor copies have also been posted.

Works continues and number 91, will appear early in the new year. As ever there so much to cover, fresh books, revelations, news, films, events, history. I’m surprised when sometimes people say ‘where do you find material to fill those pages?’ I liken it to going to a locked cupboard, opening it and masses of stuff falls out – one thing leads to another and to be honest, anyway, the coverage of the Beat Generation and associated people hasn’t improved that much since I first started Beat Scene – there might be a little more academic coverage – but popular reporting on these figures remains patchy at best. And skewed at that. And what also seems to be happening is with every fresh generation of commentators, there is a lack of deep knowledge, reporting is often superficial. New writers sometimes rewrite history.

It’s very easy to order a copy – send me an email and you’ll get a fast reply. Paypal seems to be the main choice for most people. But if you are digitally averse (and quite a few are) then cheques are ok in UK and for USA there is a US address I can send to you – to send a US cheque. BUT get in touch. I’m quite friendly, honest.

Beat Scene 90 is available. Here’s a cover image. The issue features Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley (a transcript of a talk), Ruth Weiss, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Anselm Hollo, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bukowski, Mary Fabilli, Mary Norbert Korte, Philomene Long, Tom Clark and John Calder & more. The issue also marks thirty years of Beat Scene. In all there have been about 95 issues, taking into account the special issues that had no number. The Beat Scene press has also published four paperbacks, twelve broadsides, twenty five issues of Transit magazine, and sixty five chapbooks, plus ten other chapbooks. Oh and one film. On we go, infinity and beyond.  Issues are £8  including post in the UK. 15 Euros including post in Europe and $20 USA dollars including post outside of Europe, America, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. contact me at


The annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac event has been happening in his hometown recently. A much bigger event by far than the very first one I managed to get to in 1981. Then it amounted to a couple of hours in an empty storefront on Merrimack Street. The place filled up with maybe a hundred people. Recall all the seats being taken and lots of people standing at the back. Stella Sampas was there, sitting just along from me. Jack’s reading of NEAL AND THE THREE STOOGES was played and you could hear a pin drop. Remember this was pre-internet and it is likely that not everyone present had heard Kerouac before. As Jack read on you could hear Stella crying a little and we all felt for her. It was a lovely evening. And I think quite a number of people who lived in Lowell and some I’d met early in the 1970s onwards –  who quietly kept Kerouac’s name alive in the town in the face of general indifference and apathy – even hostility – Jack Who? was a regular refrain – these Kerouac devotees – people like Jay McHale, Brian Dean, Martha Mayo, Charlie Garguilio, Pat Pestana, Henry Hefco, Mary King, Dean Contover, and a few others must have felt the tide was turning a little. So this celebration must be a lot of fun for all those who are curious about Jack Kerouac. Today of all days, 49 years since he died.


Thanks to Jed Birmingham for tipping the wink about this brief film of William Burroughs reading at Better Books in London in 1965. You can also see Alex Trocchi the film. Can anyone identify anyone else, or even themselves? Much as I hate smoking it is a tiny moment of Burroughs on film in England.


Beat Scene 90 is now available. This issue marks the 30th year of Beat Scene – it seems like a flash of time – in this issue we go further into the Dharma Bums era, Charles Bukowski in North Beach, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mary Norbert Korte, Mary Fabilli, Philomene Long, Anselm Hollo, Jack Kerouac and more. If you are interested in ordering a copy contact me at


More and more readers suggest having something on Paul Bowles in Beat Scene. There have been little essays in the past, both on Paul and Jane Bowles. I’ll be working on getting something for a future issue. For now here’s a fascinating series of letters from Bowles to potential film maker Tom Christie – dating from the 1980s. Included on the Los Angeles Review of Books site. Go to!


The American poet and biographer Tom Clark died in the small hours of August 18. Apparently he was struck by a car crossing the street. He was 77. Beat Scene 90 reported on Tom’s life and tragic end.



Blair Hurley, writing in The Paris Review a couple of days ago, has a fascinating little essay on her readings of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. Go here to read it…….

The Dharma Girls


Out now – Living With Buildings and Walking With Ghosts by Iain Sinclair. Published by Welcome Collection/Profile. This follows on from the huge first part of Jeff Johnson’s bibliography of Iain Sinclair. This biblio includes many letters – to and from Sinclair. This giant of a book is published by The Test Centre in London.


Anne Waldman’s new book, TRICKSTER FEMINISM is out now. Co-founder with Allen Ginsberg of the Naropa School in Colorado, Anne has been a lively presence on the American poetry scene since the 1960s. She combines poetry with an active interest and participation in…well, just go to this very new interview with her in the American online journal TRICYCLE…

Anne Waldman Takes on the Patriarchy One Poem at a Time

Beat Scene 89 is out now, all subscriber copies have been posted. Sorry for delay. Long stories. The final article included is ‘Allen Ginsberg’s Strange New Cottage in Berkeley.’ Which has a sharp focus on Allen’s time at 1624 Milvia Street. The time of HOWL being put together and finalised. Of the real Dharma Bums – including Henry Morley (or John Montgomery in real life), Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Kerouac and others. The long essay was partly sparked by Tom Dalzell’s little article for the online site Berkeleyside.


Flashback: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Strange New Cottage in Berkeley’

— back in March – where previously unseen photos of the long vanished cottage by Dennis Starleaf, who lived in the cottage as a student in 1958/59 can be seen. The essay in Beat Scene 89 was also written because, simply, this phase of the Beat Generation seems one of the more joyous interludes. Here’s one of Dennis Starleaf’s photos of the Milvia cottage. If you would like to order a copy of Beat Scene 89 please email me at kevbeatscene[at]


In Beat Scene 89, an interview with Lois Sorrells Beckwith, who was ‘Louise’ in Jack Kerouac’s novel ‘Big Sur.’ Lois and Jack had a relationship and an enduring friendship. She also had a relationship with Lucien Carr during the early 1960s. This little article by Maria Papova appeared on the site Brain Pickings back in 2015. At the end Lois reads her poem about Kerouac travelling a big journey to help her in her grief after her mother had died.


I had thought all copies of the William Burroughs Special issue from Winter 2014 had all gone but a handful remain. This is a bigger 72 page number and was published to mark what would have been the centenary of his birth. It  includes the very first interview he did back in 1961. Other features include Ed Dorn on Burroughs, Thom Robinson on WSB and Truman Capote, a Jack Kerouac letter to Burroughs, David Ohle on Burroughs in Kansas, Burroughs in conversation with Anne Waldman, Oliver Harris talking with Burroughs, James Grauerholz talking about him and more besides. If this interests you, get in touch. Copies are £8.50 including postage in the UK. Overseas please email

For those who might be interested in the Beats and Britain – issue 74 from Summer 2014 – will be of interest. Many of the Beats visited Britain and even lived here. William Burroughs for one – he is featured on the cover of this issue. See above. The visits of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, John Clellon Holmes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others are featured. If this is of interest – get in touch at kevbeatscene(at)



6.30pm Wednesday 30th May 2018 – Westminster Arts Library, 35 St Martins Street, London WC2H 2CP

A very rare opportunity to join the capital’s chronicler of the counterculture BARRY MILES in conversation with historian FRANK RYNNE on the London life of the beat writer WILLIAM BURROUGHS. The evening will take place during an exhibition of Miles’ personal photos and ephemera drawn from the years Burroughs lived here – the exhibition will run May 7th – June 2nd and on Saturday May 26th, we will be hosting a guided walk of Burroughs’ London with writer Antony Clayton and esoteric scholar Dr William Redwood.

Go to the Antique Beat site and contact them for more details

This event has come and gone. Beat Scene managed to get to it – there is a brief report on it in Beat Scene 89. It was a small but nicely formed exhibit. Hopefully those behind it might build on it and take it on possibly around the country and maybe expand it?


This by Jay Jeff Jones in KEROUAC ON RECORD (Bloomsbury). In the chapter Jim Morrison: Angel of Fire…

“Kerouac couldn’t have seen what was coming to him, even after Gilbert Millstein’s review had fingered him as the Beat Generation’s ‘principal avatar.’ He had expected the licence of success to open a civilised dialogue with the world. He could then state the case for his bop solo, thought – to – page literary invention, a form he had created for portraying the lives and voices of American outsiders, who would be resolved in the magnitude of his Wolfean tapestry, work-in-progress. The last thing he expected to be was ‘King of the Beats.’

Jay says so much in this brief paragraph.


Overlooked by many Kenneth Rexroth is someone to think about, read. Sometimes relegated to the footnote of being MC at the landmark Six Gallery reading in 1955, he is far more than that. Making waves in San Francisco decades before Ginsberg, Snyder and Kerouac and co arrived there, they gravitated towards him. He was scratchy, cantankerous, multi lingual, into jazz before it became ‘cool.’ Rexroth could teach them a trick or two. Absurdly well read, and published. Hear his strident tones on this crackly reading of THOU SHALT NOT KILL. As the world just keeps on fighting and killing, his words – sadly – seem so appropriate. Hear it and weep.


People have asked about the Beat Scene Press chapbook series. Here is a listing of all 64 so far.



Some chapbooks are sold out.
Prices listed are for UK only including post.
For Europe each chapbook is 15 Euros including post.
Outside Europe, USA, Japan, Australia etc each chapbook is $17 USA.
Small discounts are given for multiple orders.

Number 1
I’m Bukowski, And Enrico
Published in an edition of one hundred copies in September 1997.
A second issue of one hundred copies was published in July 2005  — £8

Number 2
Downstream From Trout Fishing In America:
A Memoir of Richard Brautigan – a brief extract
by Keith Abbott
published in an edition of one hundred copies in March 1998  — £8

Number 3
Marble Man by Dan Fante
Published in an edition of two hundred copies in April 2002  — sold out

Number 4
Jack Kerouac in San Francisco by Tom Clark published in an edition of one hundred and twenty five copies in March 2006. The first twenty five copies were signed by Tom Clark  — sold out

Number 5
Letters Home From Cambridge 1963-1965 by Tom Clark..Published in an edition of one hundred signed and numbered copies, September 2006  — sold out

Number 6
High Peak Haikus: An Interview With Gary Snyder by James Campbell.
One hundred numbered copies were published in December 2006  — sold out

Number 7
The Sad And Lonely Death of Richard Brautigan by Kevin Ring
Published in an edition of one hundred copies in January 2007  — £8

Number 8
A Fierce God And A Fierce War: An Interview With Michael McClure by Rod Phillips..Published in an edition of one hundred signed and numbered copies in March 2007  — £10

Number 9
Jack Kerouac At 681 Lexington Avenue by Elizabeth Von Vogt
Published in an edition of one hundred and fifty numbered and signed copies in May 2007  — sold out

Number 10
Arizona Highway & Other Poems by Dan Fante
Published in an edition of one hundred and twenty five signed and numbered copies in July 2007  — sold out

Number 11
Mutate Or Die: With Burroughs In Kansas by David Ohle.
Published in an edition of one hundred and twenty five signed and numbered copies in August 2007.  – sold out

Number 12
Ben Pleasants….Rexroth, Bukowski and the Politics of Literature
125 numbered copies issued October 2007…£8

Number 13
Gordon Ball…Scenes From East Hill Farm: Seasons with Ginsberg
125 signed and numbered copies October 2007….sold out

Number 14
Charles Plymell…Neal and Anne at Gough Street
125 signed and numbered copies, February 2008…sold out

Number 15
Charles Bukowski: Letters to Beat Scene
125 numbered copies April 2008…sold out

Number 16
John Clellon Holmes…Remembering Jack Kerouac
125 numbered copies May 2008 …£8

Number 17
Jim Burns…Cool Kerouac
100 numbered & signed copies June 2008…£8

Number 18
Dan Fante…1647 Ocean Front Walk
125 signed & numbered copies issued November 2008….£8

Number 19
Barry Gifford….New Poems
125 numbered copies…issued January 2009…£8

Number 20
Carl Weissner: Charles Bukowski’s Secret Agent
One hundred numbered copies…sold out

Number 21
Tom Pickard…Work Conchy
125 signed and numbered copies June 2009…£8

Number 22
Jack Hirschman – The Game & Other Poems
125 signed and numbered copies. Issued August 2009… £8

Number 23
Philip Lamantia…Letter From San Francisco
125 numbered copies issued September 2009 …£8

Number 24
John Fante: A Conversation with Ben Pleasants
125 numbered copies issued January 2010 – £8

Number 25
Charles Bukowski: Censorship Does Pay by Abel Debritto
125 numbered copies issued March 2010 – sold out

Number 26
Letters From Lew Welch
125 numbered copies issued July 2010 – £8

Number 27
The Last Days of Jack Kerouac by James Birmingham
125 numbered copies issued September 2010 – £8

Number 28
Iain Sinclair – American Smoke
125 numbered and signed copies November 2010 – £8.50

Number 29
Wallace Berman: Verifax Man…by Kevin Ring
125 copies February 2011 – £8

Number 30
Talking with Ginsberg by Jim Burns
125 numbered copies May 2011 – £8

Number 31
Al Hinkle: Last Man Standing – An Interview by Steve Edgington
125 numbered copies June 2011 – £8

Number 32
Hope Savage: Mystery Girl by Kevin Ring
125 numbered copes October 2011 – £8

Number 33
Iain Sinclair – The Face On the Fork: A William Burroughs Tryptych
125 numbered and signed copies December 2011 – sold out

Number 34
Philip Whalen – Whatnot: An Interview
125 numbered copes April 2012 – £8

Number 35
Jack Kerouac’s Last Night In Northport by James Fenton
125 numbered copies June 2012 – sold out

Number 36
Malcolm McNeill – The Lost Artwork of Ah Pook Is Here
125 numbered copies August 2012 – £8.50

Number 37
A Moving Target: Encounters with William Burroughs by Matthew Levi Stevens
125 numbered copies October 2012…sold out

Number 38
Iain Sinclair – Kitkitdizzee: Seeing Gary Snyder
125 numbered and signed copies January 2013 – £9

Number 39
Milwaukee: A Memoir About the Making of the film Beat by Gary Walkow
125 numbered copies February 2013 – £8

Number 40
William S. Burroughs: Our Spiritual Destiny Is In Space – an interview by William Weiss
125 numbered copies May 2013 – £9

Number 41
Notes From the Beat Underground: An Interview with Herbert Huncke by John Tytell
125 numbered copies July 2013…£8

Number 42
Bob Dylan in Jack Kerouac’s Lowell – 1975 by Kevin Ring
125 numbered copies September 2013 – £8

Number 43
Charles Bukowski and John Martin: The Red Vulture Men by Kevin Ring
125 numbered copies March 2014 – £8

Number 44
Neal’s Ashes by Gina Berriault
125 numbered copies May 2014 – £8…sold out

Number 45
Charles Bukowski – FIVE by Neeli Cherkovski
125 numbered copies June 2014 – £8

Number 46
Cite Scout For the Territory: An Interview About an in-progress bibliography of the works of Iain Sinclair with Jeff Johnson
125 numbered copies August 2014 – £8.50

Number 47
Jack Foley – A California Literary Timeline-The 1950s
125 numbered copies October 2014 – £8

Number 48
Bob Dylan Thunders Into Lowell by Kevin Ring
125 numbered copies March 2015 – sold out

Number 49
Gregory Corso Beat Maverick by Jim Burns
125 numbered copies September 2015 – £7.95

Number 50
On the Back of the Elephant: Riding With Charles Olson by Iain Sinclair…125 numbered and signed copies December 2015 – £8.50

Number 51
Kerouac’s Literary Method and Experiments by Ann Charters
125 numbered copies March 2016 – £8.50

Number 52
Ed Sanders – Still Thirsting For Peace: An Interview
125 numbered copies June 2016 – £8.50

Number 53
Lawrence Ferlinghetti: London 1965: An Interview
125 numbered copies August 2016 – £8

Number 54
Ken Kesey Goes Furthur: An Interview with Allan Balliett
125 numbered copies September 2016 – £8

Number 55
Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair: A Funny Kind of Relationship: Alan Moore an interview
125 numbered copies November 2016 – £8

Number 56
Hank and Neal: A Crazy Ride by Jean Francois Duval
125 numbered copies January 2017….£8

Number 57
No Sleep till Gloucester: Searching For Charles Olson by James Birmingham
125 numbered copies March 2017…£8

Number 58
Bob Dylan and the Beats: Magpie Poetics by Anne Waldman
125 numbered copies May 2017…£8.50

Number 59
The Auerhahn Press: A Constant Flying By Night: An Interview with publisher Dave Haselwood
125 numbered copies June 2017…£8

Number 60
William Burroughs and the South Texas Beats: A Conversation between Rob Johnson and Juan Ochon
125 numbered copies July 2017…£8.50

Number 61
On the Road with Jack Kerouac in Hyannis by Ann Charters
125 numbered copies August 2017…£8.50

Number 62
Hit the Road Jack: Jack Kerouac’s Short Time in the U.S. Naval Reserve by Miriam Kleiman
125 numbered copies November 2017…£8

Number 63
Charles Bukowski and Ernest Hemingway: Barfly & Bullfighter by Aubrey Malone
March 2018…125 numbered copies at £8

Number 64
Playing For Keeps by Peter Coyote
April 2018
125 numbered copies at £8


On Saturday March 24 Lawrence Ferlinghetti was 99. I’ve admired him ever since I first heard of him in the wake of first discovering Kerouac in the early 1970s. His ability to be a poet and have a creative life alongside running a business – City Lights bookstore and publishing house –  deserves respect. He is famous for publishing many of the writers who come under that big Beat Generation umbrella of course, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Corso, Snyder, McClure, Bukowski, Lamantia, Welch, Cassady, Watts and so on – and he’s published many European and South American writers over the years and been a dissenter. Remember the slogan banner that was draped over the frontage of City Lights in recent years ‘Dissent is Not UnAmerican.’ It seems to carry the spirit of Henry David Thoreau into our modern age. He has been a protestor against the greed driven advances of corporate America for decades. He is far more than a poet and a very good publisher and bookseller. I could go on. I won’t. Here is Ferlinghetti’s poem I Am Waiting. For me it encapsulates much of what he has said over the years. Happy birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti.


I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting
for someone to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep through the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped’ onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to ‘be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty’s clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am waiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder


Thanks for the kind words about No 88, especially Anthony Linick’s 1962 survey that people like Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg responded to. Anthony had many more replies but of course space was tight. To be honest I think he could publish a book about all the responses, many of the poets were those who were included in THE NEW AMERICAN POETRY edited by Don Allen and published by Grove Press in 1960. Not had any really critically negative reaction to the issue, there’s usually one. & I don’t mind. If we get it wrong, or you don’t like something, tell us.


It was nice to get some kind words again in the Times Literary Supplement from James Campbell. Always encouraging.

Beat Scene 88 – see above – has been out for a while now. If you would like a copy get in touch by email

This photo of Kathy Acker and William Burroughs in London probably in the early 1980s? Intrigued me. Is it one by John Minehane? John took some lovely photos of Burroughs with Francis Bacon. Any clued up people out there? No clued up people out there? That does surprise me.


It’s been a while since Beat Scene had an internet site. Long story. Won’t go into it. Beginning now to build up a new one. The most obvious place to start is with news of the current issue of the magazine, number 87. This issue is wholly devoted to Jack Kerouac and his landmark novel ON THE ROAD. It features contributions and memories from his friend David Amram. From his first biographer Ann Charters and from a more recent biographer Paul Maher Jr. Into the mix goes a history of Kerouac’s efforts to see the book adapted for a film. That’s a twisted journey. There’s John Clellon Holmes, his great NY, East Coast buddy, who was with him every step of the way as Kerouac strove through various versions of his novel. There’s an interview with Luanne Henderson – you’ll know her as ‘Marylou’ in ON THE ROAD. And more besides.

If you would like to buy a copy of Beat Scene, prices are as follows — In the UK £8 – cheques payable to M.Ring or by Paypal  — a Paypal link will be sent.

If you live in Europe a single copy is 15 Euros. Payment either by Paypal or by sending 15 Euros in cash.

If you live OUTSIDE Europe a single copy is $20 USA. Payment through Paypal or by USA cheque to an address in the USA that will be supplied.

Get in touch with me at kevbeatscene(at)

Must also mention Miriam Kleiman’s new HIT THE ROAD, JACK chapbook in the ongoing Beat Scene chapbook series. In this edition of 125 numbered copies Miriam explores Jack Kerouac’s time spent in the US Naval psychiatric unit in the early 1940s, when Kerouac was just twenty years old. Fascinating account where Miriam has access to all Kerouac’s archives there. Please get in touch if this interests you. Single copies in the UK are £7.95, cheques payable to M.Ring –  including post. Europe is 15 Euros & elsewhere $17 USA dollars.



A few words on the Beat Scene chapbook series. See some of the issues above. There have been 62 chapbooks in the series so far. They are a uniform series of 8″ x 5″ stapled card cover chapbooks. Numbered, usually in an edition of 125 copies. A number in the series are signed. Often original work by people such as Michael McClure, Jack Hirschman, Ed Sanders, Iain Sinclair, Dan Fante, John Fante,  Philip Lamantia, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen and others is published. There are interviews with Charles Bukowski, Herbert Huncke, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Al Hinkle, (Ed Dunkel in ON THE ROAD), William Burroughs + original writings on Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Bob Dylan, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso and many others.

For availability – please ask – get in touch.

BBC Radio 3 are broadcasting a programme about Jack Kerouac’s novel ON THE ROAD this coming Friday, December 8 at 10 pm. Ian McMillan and others discuss this landmark novel and its significance sixty years after publication in 1957. If you miss the show it will be available on the BBC iPlayer, which can be easily logged into. Not sure how this works for those overseas, but give it a try. Ian McMillan is knowledgeable about Jack Kerouac. Do recall him coming to my house many years ago to talk about Kerouac for a BBC radio show. He pulled a fast one on me. Recording me. I then thought he had switched his tape recorder off after he said – that’s fine, I’ve got enough there – but he carried on recording as we casually glanced over some photos of Kerouac, Snyder & others on the stairway. & that was the bit aired on the show. Sneaky Ian. Forgotten history now. To be honest the media in general have been slow to comment on this ON THE ROAD sixty years thing. Kerouac’s novel remains so relevant – recording as it does – a vanished time. America is a vastly different country now.

Beat Scene, in particular issue 87 – the ON THE ROAD issue – was given a little coverage in last week’s TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT. Thank you to James Campbell who gave the issue a write up – which was most welcome and a number of people got in touch as a result. Cheers James. Though Beat Scene friend Ann Charters, well known for her biography, bibliography and editing of various Jack Kerouac books of letters and collections, as well as much more – writing on Charles Olson in particular – Ann noted a number of errors in James Campbell’s summary of the creation of ON THE ROAD. I’ve put in Ann’s email below, so you can see for yourself. If anyone knows about ON THE ROAD it is definitely Ann.

A Note from Ann Charters…..

Dear Kevin, Congratulations! I noticed that your “On the Road” special issue was listed in the “Hello, Marylou” squib by J.C. in the recent TLS.  I’m delighted that you have been given credit for this splendid issue, but could you please drop a note to J.C. correcting the several errors in the so-called “few facts” in his/her opening paragraph.  The errors give a poor impression of the extent of scholarly interest in Kerouac’s work:
(1) It is well documented (by eye-witnesses Joan Haverty Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, Allen Ginsberg, etc.) that JK wrote the “Original Scroll” version of the book in three weeks in April 1951;
(2) In 1957 the first published version was the outcome of six years of rewriting, only partially done by Kerouac;
(3) Kerouac did deliberately tape together sheets of paper to make “a single piece of paper” that he rolled into his typewriter when he composed the book.  That’s why it is called the “Original Scroll”;
(4) The “Original Scroll” version of “On the Road,” first published in Great Britain by  Penguin Classics in 2007, is Kerouac’s “first thought, best thought” 1951 original text.  Many readers find it greatly superior to the edited 1957 version;
(5) Kerouac was the first editor of the “Original Scroll” version when he re-typed it onto standard sheets of typing paper shortly after completing the book in 1951, but it was most heavily rewritten in 1956-1957 before publication by editors at Viking, including Malcolm Cowley.
J.C.’s four sentences presenting “a few facts” contain five errors.  That’s not good.
Please help the TLS get it right.

Thank you, Ann Charters

Beat Scene 88 is at the printer now. Back to a regular issue this time. Allen Ginsberg, Joanne Kyger, something a little out of the ordinary involving Charles Bukowski, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. William Everson features and more besides. I’d anticipate this issue will be posted out beginning Tuesday 16 January. If you haven’t ordered yet, be quick. Pre-orders have snapped up most copies.