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Last amended - July 18, 2013

I've had a little contact with Diane di Prima (pictured here with Allen Ginsberg) over the years, a few letters and emails. I knew she was suffering with poor health, as was her longtime partner Sheppard Powell. I didn't know the extent of her poor health until today. A stalwart of Post War American poetry, she has achieved much. To read a little more about her situation read here. Wishing her all the goodwill in the world. http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=1344&fulltext=1&media=

Hot on the heels of that other film, Kill Your Darlings is now starting to be shown at festivals. Ostensibly based around the Lucien Carr, David Kammerer murder - the film features many of the New York wing of America's Beat Generation. Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg. As seems to be par, the review is mixed. Sometimes I do wonder if a film would pass muster even if it were an Orson Welles and John Huston directed film with Spielbeg and Scorcese as executive producers? It might just stand a chance then. Or is it just me? Thanks to Richard for sending me the news. http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/sundance-review-kill-your-darlings-illuminates-an-uncovered-corner-of-beat-generation-history-with-mixed-results-20130119?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+indiewiremoviereviews+(Indiewire+Reviews


  A twenty five minute film of David Amram and longtime Lowell friend of Jack Kerouac - Billy Koumantzelis - talking about Kerouac. Filmed in Lowell in very recent times. They talk about Pull My Daisy among other things. Go here to see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mk3EtnfjJM

Beat Scene deputy editor Jim Burns has drawn my attention to the death of American poet Jack Gilbert. Gilbert died in November 2012. He was 87 and was for a time linked for the Beat Generation, Jack Spicer. A traveller, he spent periods in France, in Greece, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Italy and elsewhere. In the last stages of his life he lived in Massachusetts and California (Berkeley). See here for full obituary. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/20/jack-gilbert

In the wake of the On the Road film and a vague feeling of disappointment, it would seem at least in Europe, comes a first film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 'breakup' novel BIG SUR. How this smaller budget film will fare is anyone's guess. The hype won't be as much, the publicity a lot more sporadic, the anticipation more muted. It is a bleak novel, even more so as we have discovered so much more about Kerouac's later years over the past decade or two - the trailer looks suitably downbeat. Will it even make cinema screens in Europe, unlikely it would seem? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0fkTayO3cI

A few issues back in Beat Scene we included a big feature on Jack Kerouac and his longstanding agent Sterling Lord, highlighting the relationship between them and the role Lord played in Kerouac's writing life. Lord has published a book about his life as an editor and the American magazine Vanity Fair (an unlikely place) has conducted a little interview with 92 year old Lord,  where he talks about Jack. See it here. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/02/agent-sterling-lord-launching-jack-kerouac?mbid=social_twitter

Many of you will have seen the Walter Salles film adaptation of Kerouac's On the Road and you'll have seen a phase of the film where Alice Braga plays a character that Jack Kerouac called 'Terry' in his book. That woman, if you didn't know already, was/is a real person, she was/is called Bea Franco. Kerouac's essay 'The Mexican Girl' preceded the publication of On the Road and was issued in a major American journal. It gave encouragement to Kerouac that his book was finally going to be published. Tim Hernandez, a young writer spent much time finding out if 'Terry' was still alive, in the hope of writing her story. Eventually he found her, aged 86 and living not that far from where he did. He discovered that Bea Franco wrote a number of letters to Jack after they parted. They are now in his archives at the NY Library. Tim's book will be published later next year. He has a site where he posts regular entries on his progress with the book. You can find it here. It sometimes reads like a detective novel and I'm glad he found Terry and I look forward to the book. You can find the blog at http://timzhernandez.com/


  Just in - ROBERT DUNCAN: THE AMBASSADOR FROM VENUS by Lisa Jarnot - a big new biography of this acclaimed West Coast poet. Years in the writing - the subtitle stems from a comment made by a young Charles Olson on first meeting Duncan. Published by the University of California Press (ISBN 978-0-520-23416-1) the book includes some rarely seen photos of Duncan throughout his life. There will be an extended article on Duncan in Beat Scene 70.  See http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520234161

An obituary of Dick McBride from the English daily newspaper in the last week. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/dick-mcbride-one-of-the-last-of-the-beat-poets-8227037.html

You may recall WHAT HAPPENED TO KEROUAC? a documentary film from the 1980s. Much of the footage was captured at the 1982 Jack Kerouac event at Naropa in Colorado. It was released on video in 1986 and remained a valuable source. With most of our video players consigned to the loft a new compact disc version has been made available. The big bonus is a second disc which has those such as Robert Creeley, Ann Charters, Gregory Corso, Burroughs, Snyder et al all discussing Jack Kerouac. I understand the original film is downloadable on iTunes. The two disc set can be bought over the counter. I'm loathe to give them space, but it is available here too. http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Happened-Kerouac-Richard-Lerner/dp/B008XXVV0E/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1351239672&sr=1-1

    CUT-UPS, CUT-INS, CUT-OUTS: THE ART OF WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS...a polished hardcover book published to coincide with an exhibit of artwork by Burroughs. Held in Germany, always a stronghold for Burroughs, he is really appreciated there.  High quality reproductions of his art throughout. The book can be ordered by going to www.cornerhouse.org/books - the book is £24.

Not sure how long Third Mind Books have been operating but they seem to be well progressed and establishing themselves as purveyors of Beat Books, the obscure, the forgotten, the rare, the expensive and desirable. They've just produced a beautiful catalogue of new items for sale. A glossy, full colour paperback production with a page devoted to each book with high quality photo illustration of each and every one. Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Creeley, Dorn, Corso, di Prima, Duncan, Olson et al. They seem to focus entirely on the Beats and I applaud them for that. The catalogue must have cost a small fortune to publish. Find out more at www.thirdmindbooks.com

For those of you who are waiting for the Malcolm McNeill book that includes his artwork originally designed to accompany AH POOK by William Burroughs, here is a sample of the work presented in a neat way on Flickr. Apparently Fantagraphics are definitely publishing the work in late October. It promises to be quite a publication for Burroughs devotees. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantagraphics/7849088298/in/photostream/

  ruth weiss (she likes her name in lower case) has a new book just out. A PARALLEL PLANET OF PEOPLE AND PLACES: STORIES AND POEMS. It is a dual language edition, English/German. The English section is reproduced just as ruth typed it, which looks really neat. A well put together paperback issued in Innsbruck by Edition Baes. Contact Elias Schneitter at elias.schneitter@gmail.com for information

Dianella Bardelli has a book about Neal Cassady just out. It is for you Italian readers out there, you multilinguals maybe. Here's a link to the book and some neat movie footage of Neal and other things. http://www.vololiberoedizioni.it/v3/?sect=libri&itemId=933


A very old interview with Tom Waits has resurfaced in the English daily THE GUARDIAN today. He talks about Kerouac and poetry. Go here to read it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/07/tom-waits-interview


   Back in the 1970s, when William Burroughs was living long term in London, England, he connected with a young English artist Malcolm McNeill. Burroughs had seen a comic strip in the English underground magazine Cyclops which brought to life some Burroughs creations. Burroughs asked McNeill to help him illustrate his AH PUCH (later Ah Pook) and the two worked together on and off for a few years. Their efforts to get this project published met many obstacles and it was finally abandoned. Now Malcolm McNeill's extraordinary artwork is to be finally published by Fantagraphics Press. It will be a treat for fans of William Burroughs and for those students of the writer who may know something of this story. McNeill's art has been on exhibition and the book is sure to be beautifully presented and will include Malcolm McNeill's memories of the time he spent working with Burroughs. Here's a link to details of the book. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in Burroughs. http://www.fantagraphics.com/fantagraphics-news/fantagraphics-acquires-lost-william-s.-burroughs-graphic-novel.html         


  West Coast arm of Beat Scene magazine Richard Miller alerted me to this four part interview with long time secretary to Allen Ginsberg, Bob Rosenthal in the New York Times recently. It really is a wonderful insight into the behind the scenes world of Ginsberg and I really hope Rosenthal gets to publish the full book in the future. Excellent stuff. http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/allen-ginsberg-revisited-by-his-right-hand-man-pt-1/


It appears that the documentary fim, Love Always, Carolyn, will be released on DVD in July. At present it seems it will be available in a Swedish cover design for the moment, with subtitles. A link here to the film site. You might have better luck than me in getting a reply from the. Having written, phoned & emailed I've yet to get a reply after a year of trying. http://lovealwayscarolyn.com/


Author Jean Francois Duval in Paris recently with the car from the new Walter Salles movie of Jack Kerouac's novel ON THE ROAD. KEROUAC ET LA BEAT GENERATION is Jean's new book from PUF. www.puf.com

Heathcote Williams has three publications out from Cold Turkey Press right now. AMERICAN PORN is one, POETRY is another, and WAS MOBY DICK BEHIND 9/11? is a third. Limited editions. Contact Cold Turkey Press at www.gerardbellaart.com or coldturkeypress@gerardbellaart.com


Robert Duncan in San Francisco is a forthcoming reissue from City Lights Press in San Francisco. Here's what their press department have to say about it.

"A newly expanded edition of an enduring classic, Robert Duncan in San Francisco is both a portrait of the premier poet of the SF Renaissance and a fascinating account of gay life in late 1950s America. Following his graduation from Black Mountain College, Michael Rumaker made his way to the post-Howl, pre-Stonewall gay literary milieu of San Francisco, where he entered the circle of Robert Duncan. His account of that time gives an unvarnished look at Duncan's magnetic personality and occasional failings, while delivering vivid snapshots of other significant poets like Jack Spicer, John Wieners, and Joanne Kyger, against the backdrop of legendary North Beach haunts like The Place, Vesuvio, and City Lights Books. Contrasting Duncan's daringly frank homosexuality with his own then-closeted life, Rumaker conjures up with harrowing detail an era of police persecution of a largely clandestine gay community struggling to survive in the otherwise "open city" of San Francisco. First published in 1996, this expanded edition includes a selection of previously unpublished letters between Rumaker and Duncan, and an interview conducted for this edition, in which Rumaker provides further reflections on the poet and the period."

The book comes out early next year. www.citylights.com

And further news on Robert Duncan, the University of California Press will publish ROBERT DUNCAN: THE COLLECTED EARLY POEMS AND PLAYS. Edited by Peter Quatermain. Should be available late in the year. According to press releases it gathers together all of Duncan's books and magazine publications up to and including Letters: Poems 1953-1956. The book includes 20 photos.


Heath Common and The Thin Man have an album out that will strike chords with Beat Fans. Called BOHEMIA and out on Platform 54, you might be excused for thinking they are American, in fact they come from Yorkshire. With tracks such as Gary Snyder's Lament, I Don't Want To Be Lenny Bruce Anymore, Candlestick Park, snippets of Burroughs, Moondog, Cassady. ANGEL OF NEW YORK is curious but sublime. They have the quirkiness of Tom Russell's HOTWALKER album, that carny edge that Tom Waits has.  There are a lot of influences at work here. Other observers have hinted at the Buena Vista Social Club. Jewish musical styles. Whatever, it is curious, very pretty in places, and something that will obviously repay repeated plays. Look up www.heathcommonandthethinman.com


There is a brief interview with Gary Snyder on the excellent Poetry Foundation site. Go here to read it. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/181667

And a hour long + reading from Gary Snyder back in 2009 here. He's funny and very on the ball. Skip the first five minutes or so as they are long winded introductions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxVZxJIYj6o


Sad to report the very recent death of American novelist Harry Crews, who has died at his home in Florida aged 76. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of phone conversations with Harry whilst doing an interview with him in the 1990s. He told me he was in bed drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels, but maybe he was just teasing as most reports say he had given up drink by then. Contrary to his wild image he was courteous, humble, very laid back and helpful. It kind of threw me a little. The interview appeared in Beat Scene number 22. THINGS THAT SWIM IN THE NIGHT. Though reading it again just now I am reminded that Harry gently chided me for not knowing as much about his writing as I should have. I'd only read four of five of his by then. And he was something of a secret here in England, even then and certainly didn't get any press coverage here. So it felt as though it was a good thing to include him. Quietly his stock rose here. Less promoted than Charles Bukowski, with whom he was often associated, he was a true cult writer.

   Interesting to read this review of a book I published many years ago, The Charles Bukowski Second Coming Years. By A.D. Winans. The review is written by Kevin Killian, who co wrote the very excellent biography of Jack Spicer 'Poet Be Like God.' Read below. The book is still available from me by the way....

"Have you been curious to find out how SF Beat poet A.D. Winans came to know the Los Angeles rabblerouser Charles Bukowski? In this book you can find out the whole in and out of their relationship, in which they were sort of like the Hemingway and FitzGerald of a nascent poetic movement which Winans has called, "The Second Coming Revolution," after his own magazine, the long-gone, and sadly missed, "Second Coming," which might be said to have started a revolution in letting the common people speak in the language of the human tongue. But maybe "revolution" is the wrong word. Plenty of fine photos stud this book, some of the talented San Francisco poet Harold Norse, and other figures around the legendary 50 year old bookstore City Lights on Columbus Avenue (San Francisco), where "Hank," as his intimates called Bukowski, made some of his most colorful public appearances. But A.D. Winans got to know "Hank" in private too, and some of the most telling stories in the book comcern the way Winans counts it up and realizes that actually, he only met with Bukowski a handful of times, and that he got to "know" him mostly through his letters and through his many volumes of verse.

There is also an explanation of why Winans is bitter today, for rightfully so he feels ignored, and plus he had a spiked drink some time ago and was jailed by malicious SF cops who put him in a cell with deadbeats and dangerous felons, and subjected him to a nude body search which was humiliating. But, he survived his ordeal and has since then written over two dozen books. Thought Bukowski is dead now, Winans lives on to dare to dream the visions of glory dreamt by the knights of the round table who wanted to find . . . "the HOLY GRAIL.

In the media frenzy, one would imagine, (will there be a frenzy? Perhaps not) -  that will surround the Walter Salles ON THE ROAD movie, it might be easy to overlook other 'Beat' films that are inching their way to completion. They may be sidelined to an extent, Big Sur, Kill Your Darlings and others. Filming progresses on the latter, with Daniel Radcliffe playing the role of Allen Ginsberg. Photos I've seen so far all have the cast looking a little 'Preppy' in style. Radcliffe doesn't seem crumpled enough, his fellow actors just a little too fresh faced. But early days yet. Here is an image of Radcliffe as Ginsberg from KILL YOUR DARLINGS - above.

Before us, the great unwashed, get to see it, the media have sneak previews of the forthcoming Walter Salles film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's ON THE ROAD. John Walsh, writing for the daily English newspaper THE GUARDIAN, a journal generally considered 'favourable' to Kerouac, is fairly dismissive of the film, he speaks of 'a well-scrubbed heritage-industry gleam...' Oh dear. It bodes not well. A concern if The Guardian don't like it, what hope is there when the other right wing press and media get their boot in? But then again, we're savvy enough to make our own minds up surely.

    Jean Francois Duval is about to see his new book - KEROUAC et al BEAT GENERATION published. In the French language at the moment, it follows his BUKOWSKI and the BEATS a while back. Contact Jean at jfduval@vtxnet.ch for more information. It looks stunning and I'm looking forward to simply looking at the images he's included.

A lovely fifteen minute film about the exhibition in Birmingham at the university a couple of years ago about the ON THE ROAD scroll being shown there. Organiser Prof Dick Ellis filmed talking about Jack, the book, the context, music etc. Very well done. Take a look. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR0vkz9CGr4


Above...Henry Ferrini's beautiful Kerouac film...see www.gloucesterwriters.org 

The film Keenan won Best Short at the 2012 United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival at Rutgers University, which was held February 17-19.  Film makers Kurt Hemmer & Tom Knoff made a really neat film biography of the career of photographer Larry Keenan Jr. Larry took iconic images of people like Ginsberg, Snyder, Whalen, Welch, Dylan, McClure, Lamantia & many others. Below is a more recent image Larry took of Michael McClure and his daughter.


Beat Scene friend Lachlan Jobbins has a site in Australia and on it he covers Beat books, amongst other things. There is an interview with Liz Von Vogt, the younger sister of John Clellon Holmes. She talks about her book that looks at that late 1940s, early 1950s era where Kerouac and Holmes talked into the night and wrote early works. 681 LEXINGTON AVENUE. http://www.control-edit.com/?p=134

Onetime Black Mountain artist John Chamberlain has died. An obituary from the English Guardian newspaper at this link. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/jan/02/john-chamberlain


Thanks to film director and friend of Beat Scene, Nic Saunders for sending in this link to possibilities surrounding the film KILL YOUR DARLINGS - a movie in the works about the Beat era in the 1940s in NY. http://broadwayworld.com/article/Daniel-Radcliffe-Eyes-Role-as-Allen-Ginsberg-in-Kill-Your-Darlings-Movie-20111129#

A link here to a pretty damning look at Jack Kerouac's THE SEA IS MY BROTHER. Recently published in entirety for the first time. Normally The Guardian is sympathetic to Kerouac's work. Not this time. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/25/kerouacs-lost-debut-novel-published


If you are interested in either Herbert Huncke or Gregory Corso, or both, then here's a chance to see a thirty minute documentary film about them. Click on this link to view it. Thanks to Eddie Woods for telling me about it. http://blog.sensitiveskinmagazine.com/what-not/video/original-beats-gregory-corso-and-herbert-huncke/

News of an adaptation of the William Burroughs work QUEER being put into production. Click here to find out who's involved. http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/steve-buscemi-to-direct-burroughs-adaptation-queer/251650

KEEP THIS QUIET: A MEMOIR - MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HUNTER S. THOMPSON, MILTON KLONSKY and JAN MENSAERT by Margaret A. Harrell is out now. For more information go to http://hunterthompsonnewbook.com/

A link here to Iain Sinclair's talk given in Charles Olson's Gloucester in Massachusetts on October 15. This is a four part film of approximately one hour. http://www.iainsinclair.org.uk/2011/10/15/talk-on-charles-olson-oct-15/


Thanks to Beat Scene subscriber Carole who sent me information about a new play based on Allen Ginsberg's long poem KADDISH. The play had a brief run in New York recently. Go here for more information about it. http://www.adaptationsproject.org/Home/Works.html

Carole also informed me about THE POETRY DEAL: A FILM WITH DIANE DI PRIMA. A very recent project, you can find more at www.DianediPrimaDocumentary.com


Remembering Joy Walsh (1935-2011)

The following article appeared in a Buffalo newspaper recently, it documents the life of Joy Walsh who ran the magazine MOODY STREET IRREGULARS: A JACK KEROUAC NEWSLETTER for fourteen years. Many of you will be familiar with her. I’ve left the article as it was.


Joy Walsh, the Clarence Center-based poet who gained international recognition as the editor and publisher of a journal dedicated to the history and the cultural influence of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation of writers, died on October 9th following a brief illness.  She was 76.  Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Walsh was a key contributor to the Buffalo area literary scene as a poet, editor, literary scholar and performer. She was an active member of the Niagara-Erie Writers, and taught a writing workshop at Attica Correctional Facility co-sponsored by N.E.W. in the mid-1980’s. She joined the Earth’s Daughters Collective in the late 1970’s and became one of the co-editors of Earth's Daughters magazine—now the longest continuously published feminist literary magazine in North America—through the early 1990’s.  Walsh also worked for The Humanist magazine during the time it was based in Amherst, New York.                     She was best-known, however, for founding, editing, and publishing “Moody Street Irregulars” (subtitled “A Jack Kerouac Newsletter”), a journal dedicated to a wide range of writing about or inspired by the Beat Generation of writers in general, and Jack Kerouac’s work in particular.                     

From 1978 to 1992, she published 28 issues of the journal, which quickly won an international reputation and readership for its essays, commentaries, interviews and original poetry featuring such Beat Generation luminaries as William S. Burroughs and Carolyn Cassady (wife of Neal  Cassady, the real-life model for “Dean Moriarty” in Kerouac’s “On the Road”), as well as important scholarly contributions from poet Tom Clark, who went on to publish a biography of Kerouac in 1995.                                                    

Michael Basinski, now Curator of The Poetry Collection at the University at Buffalo, met Walsh in Professor Marcus Klein’s 20th Century American Literature course in his first semester of graduate school at UB. “She talked to me about an idea she had for a [Jack] Kerouac magazine and was I interested, and did I wish to work on it with her,” he recalls, “I said yes.”                                                                                                                

Basinski went on to co-edit the first few issues of Moody Street Irregulars with Walsh, who was also assisted by Ana Pine on several subsequent issues. What he remembers most about working with Walsh was her enormous enthusiasm for Kerouac and the project: “All along over the magazine's long life it was Joy Walsh endlessly committed to Kerouac—I think the great spirit of his writing—committed to his energy (less interested in criticism, or so to speak, 'figuring it out') more interested in the raw passion and energy that Kerouac could and would and still does generate.  I left after a few issues but it was always all Joy—all energy for Jack Kerouac—a commitment, a melding in the energy that was [Kerouac’s] writing.”                                              

Walsh’s Textile Bridge Press also published books by several prominent Western New York based writers and poets including Manny Fried, Marion Perry, Boria Sax and Ryki Zuckerman.                                                         

Walsh was born Joy Ann Staley in East Liverpool, Ohio on May 3, 1935.  Her family moved to Buffalo, where she was raised in the Langfield projects during the World War Two era and afterwards.  She married businessman Thomas J. Walsh—the owner of Bison Truck Parts on Walden Avenue in Buffalo—in the 1960’s and moved to Clarence Center, where the couple raised two sons.                                                                                                 

Walsh attended SUNY-Fredonia—at first as a music major—before becoming enthralled with literature in general and The Beats in particular. She completed her B.A. in English and earned her Master of Arts degree in the Humanities at UB, writing her master’s thesis on critic and literary theorist Kenneth Burke.                                                                                                      

She was the author four collections of her own Beat-influenced poetry, “Locating Positions” (Backstreet Press, 1983), “Hymn to Prometheus Transistor” (Atticus Press, 1984), “The Absent are Always in the Wrong" (Water Row Press, 1985), and “Mary Magdalen Sings the Mass in Ordinary Time" (Alpha Beat Press, 1989).  She was also the author of a critical study “Jack Kerouac: Statement in Brown" (Esprit critique series, Textile Bridge Press, 1984.)                                                                                                

In 1983, Walsh was awarded a writer-in-residence grant from Just Buffalo Literary Center.  Owing in part to her connection to the Beats, and to the post-Beat writing that she championed, her poems, essays, and reviews were published in magazines and journals throughout the United States, Canada, England, Europe, Australia, and Japan.                                              

She is survived by her husband, sons Thomas and Christopher and their families, including eight grandchildren.                                                       

Former colleague Basinski remembers her as “full of wild crazy energy always,” while Ryki Zuckerman, a friend and one of her co-editors at Earth’s Daughters magazine, recalls that in her younger days, Walsh would arrive at her own poetry readings and writing workshops on the back of a motorcycle.                                                                                                            

She was quite an exceptional woman, for her own or any time. The 40th anniversary issue of Earth’s Daughters magazine (Earth’s Daughters #80) will be dedicated to her.

--R.D. Pohl

Jack Foley has written this recent article on the new film by English filmmaker Nic Saunders.


Et ma vie pour tes yeux lentement s’empoisonne
And for your eyes my life takes poison slowly.
                —Guillaume Apollinaire, “Les colchiques” (“The Saffrons”)

Who weeps for the angels…or notices when they turn aside to stiffen their upper lips?

—Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

There’s a story about the great French poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918). It’s said that on the day he died he heard voices outside his hospital window crying, “Guillaume est mort” (“William is dead”). The voices were referring to Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had not died but abdicated. Weak and delirious, Apollinaire—whose birth name was Wilhelm—thought the voices referred to him.

He needn’t have worried. Nic Saunders’ gorgeous new film, At Apollinaire’s Grave, shows him alive and well in Paris—and offering help to fledgling poets.                                                                                                       The Paris of the film is of course real—far realer than it is in Woody Allen’s latest. Saunders went to some trouble to be historically accurate. We see the exterior of the actual “Beat Hotel,” 9 Rue Gît-le-Coeur (Here Lies The Heart Street), where Allen Ginsberg lived when he composed the poems used in the film; as Philip Bulcock (The Poet) walks down Rue Beautreillis, we can make out the balcony of the apartment block where Jim Morrison died (buried, like Apollinaire, in the great cemetery, Père Lachaise); and as Bulcock walks along the Seine, we see the famous Parisian booksellers.                                                                                                                  

Yet the film is far from being a documentary of the real; it is rather a documentary of the spirit, of the process by which one achieves poethood—and so it is full of fantasy: visual distortions, enormously effective (and affective) music by Andy Dragazis, stunning juxtapositions, symbols. Death is everywhere, but, as Whitman said, death is different from what anyone thought, and luckier. Bulcock plunges himself into the world of death—the largest cemetery in Paris—but finally discovers there the energy of life. In an evocation of the period of the actual Beat Hotel—a seedy monolith of the fifties and early sixties, home to Corso (who named it), Ginsberg, Gysin, Burroughs, others—the film is shot in glorious black and white, except for one sequence which is shot in delicious, rich color. Summoned by a split-off version of himself, The Poet finds himself an honored guest at a banquet presided over by Apollinaire himself (who has been watching him throughout the film). Other attendees—as simultaneously dead and alive as Apollinaire—include Picasso, Gide, Cendrars, Tzara, etc. The Poet is simultaneously Allen Ginsberg and not Allen Ginsberg (he is wearing Ginsberg’s glasses but he has a published copy of “Howl” among his books). And he is making contact not with the Beats but with their progenitors, the group of “immortals” (the word is taken literally in this film) he wishes to join. These entirely male copains (no Gertrude Stein) offer him bread and wine, which he takes to make his “communion” complete. Yet there is also the visionary presence of a woman (Kasia Halpin) whose photograph we’ve seen earlier in his hotel room—a lover, a muse figure—and she is smiling. If the figures at the banquet—particularly Apollinaire—are his “fathers,” then she is very likely his “mother,” so that in a certain sense his advent as a poet involves a balancing of male and female energies—perhaps a final settling of accounts with his parents. At the climax of the ritual—and, in a way, the entire film is a ritual—he is handed a box containing his own living, beating heart. And the sound of the heartbeat (all puns intended) stays with us, transforming and replacing the earlier insistent sound of the typewriter. If Ginsberg’s poetry is deeply Jewish (Kaddish is the volume from which the poems quoted in this film are taken), Saunders’ film seems equally deeply Roman Catholic. After all, he is dealing with the French—with the country of the “Sacred Heart.”

Back in black and white, The Poet awakens and stares into a mirror; he makes the “Bogie” gesture from Breathless—and smiles. Bulcock has become not only The Poet but The Filmmaker! It’s as if Saunders is saying, “Hah! At last I have become Jean-Luc Goddard!” (Though I remember Belmondo making the gesture with his right hand: Bulcock makes it with his left.)

It’s a wonderful moment, but At Apollinaire’s Grave is full of wonderful moments. The central perception The Poet comes to is Ginsberg’s profound formula, “Mind is Shapely. Art is Shapely”—though he arrives at it in a sequence in which, amazingly, mind seems utterly chaotic. The formula is both Ginsberg’s and Saunders’ (and Kerouac’s) credo—an all-encompassing trust of imaginative experience no matter where it may lead. (“Don’t hide the madness.”) Ginsberg himself wrote of Kaddish, “In the midst of the broken consciousness of mid twentieth century suffering anguish of separation from my own body and its natural infinity of feeling its own self one with all self, I instinctively [sought] to reconstitute that blissful union which I experienced so rarely.”

In a final visit (it is, very symbolically, day 33), The Poet places a piece on paper on Apollinaire’s grave. The words are in French (so Apollinaire can read them more easily!) and, for us, in English: Joie toujours a suivi après la Douleur—je ne suis plus seul (Joy has always followed after Pain—I am no longer alone). And at the very conclusion of the film, Saunders gives us two quotations—words which echo one another and intertwine:

                                      Each ray of moonlight’s

a ray of honey


Follow your inner moonlight

         Don’t hide the madness


The first quotation is by Guillaume Apollinaire (“G.A.”); the second is by Allen Ginsberg (“A.G.”).

At Apollinaire’s Grave is full of imagination and life. Philip Bulcock is wonderful throughout and his recitations of Ginsberg’s lines are beautiful. (Bulcock, who was born in Manchester, looks American—like Tom Sawyer!) And Aden Cardy-Brown is a wonderful presence as Apollinaire. Poetry may inspire films in various ways. Nic Saunders has found has found a way to weave poetry, for the most part an auditory art, into the very fabric of his film, for the most part a visual art. It is a beautiful and highly ritualistic combination. Art may be, as Apollinaire’s line perhaps suggests, a slow poison, but it is a poison that engages us, as this film clearly does, more fully in life. Nic Saunders’ films weep for the angels—but they also, as Elizabeth Smart goes on to say, teach them how to rumba. Je connais tout, fors que moi-même, wrote François Villon,

I know everything except for myself. At Apollinaire’s Grave is an opening into that deep mystery.

At Apollinaire’s Grave is the second of four projected films dealing with Beat experience. The first was Curses and Sermons (2009), with poetry by Michael McClure. The third, completed but not yet released, will deal with William Burroughs.


I've had the pleasure of meeting artist Peter Tingey a few times through Beat Generation interests and have seen just a little of his work. Based in south London he has designed book covers, album covers and worked in various mediums. Inspired by his local surroundings as well as his globetrotting he always surprises yet has a particular style.  A visit to his site at www.tingey.info Well worth your time.

There is a new documentary film about Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters - MAGIC TRIP. Here is some of the promo on the film.

"Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood’s MAGIC TRIP is a freewheeling portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Prankster’s fabled road trip across America in the legendary Magic Bus. In 1964, Ken Kesey, the famed author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” set off on a legendary, LSD-fuelled cross-country road trip to the New York World’s Fair. He was joined by “The Merry Band of Pranksters,” a renegade group of counterculture truth-seekers, including Neal Cassady, the American icon immortalized in Kerouac’s “On the Road,” and the driver and painter of the psychedelic Magic Bus. Kesey and the Pranksters intended to make a documentary about their trip, shooting footage on 16MM, but the film was never finished and the footage has remained virtually unseen. With MAGIC TRIP, Gibney and Ellwood were given unprecedented access to this raw footage by the Kesey family. They worked with the Film Foundation, HISTORY and the UCLA Film Archives to restore over 100 hours of film and audiotape, and have shaped an invaluable document of this extraordinary piece of American history."

Click link below to go to the film site.



Two outstanding volumes have recently been published by Jack Foley. Having met Jack I know what a dynamo he is and how dedicated he is in whatever he does. VISIONS AND AFFILIATIONS: A CALIFORNIA LITERARY TIMELINE - POETS & POETRY 1940-1980 is the first collection. See illustration above. At close to 600 pages and with dimensions of 11" x 8" these are substantial volumes. What Jack Foley does is trace the literary history of California (in particular San Francisco) between those dates. So you'll see Patchen, Jeffers, Rexroth, Everson and others crop up early on. Of course merely listing things wouldn't be enough, allied to that are Foleys introductions of their work, his own takes, all cross referencing and highly informed. Naturally the names change with the times as poets migrate to California, the books, events, artists, films, publishers, poets all intersect. Snyder, Whalen, Kerouac, McClure, Whalen, Lamantia, Bukowski, Brautigan, Duncan, Welch, Kyger, di Prima and so many others. These are literary history books, an alternative California history if you like. Foley delves beneath the surface and reveals little known but crucial history about the writers we all know and love. His resourcefulness is admirable. The second volume covers 1980 to 2005 and is equally comprehensive. Tracing the arc of writers and their lives in the highly fertile literary atmosphere of the Bay Area is a joy with Foley, he brings things into context and you can detect the interconnectedness of it all. He says of the publications, "The fabric of time is the centre of the book..." He should get a medal for going beyond the call of duty. Here is a link to Jack Foley talking about his two books on the legendary KPFA radio....http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/71165

ISBN 978-1-61364-067-8                                                                               

Contact -- Pantograph Press, 2569 Maxwell Avenue, Oakland, California 94601-5521, USA www.jack-adellefoley.com                       

LAST MAN STANDING - AL HINKLE an interview by Stephen D. Edington will be the new Beat Scene Press chapbook, number 31 in the series. Al Hinkle, as you will recall, was with Kerouac and Cassady (and Luanne) as they criss-crossed America. Dummy cover above. It will be £6.95 - if you would like to pre-order a copy click the button below.

Iain Sinclair's monumental new book GHOST MILK: CALLING TIME ON THE GRAND PROJECT is published by Hamish Hamilton. Sinclair is one of the best writers of our times. He is wonderfully articulate and weaves true life stories from his vast memory banks with his connections to today. He presents the country, but especially those areas of London he knows like the back of his hand, in a blaring light. He is a banned writer exposing the ravages of old London in the pursuit of the dollar as the Olympic scam bulldozes everything in the way. His twists and turns take him from Edgar Alan Poe to the Dave Clark Five, Beijing to the Hebrides. Just wonderful. Follow his trail.  www.hamishhamilton.co.uk

RADICALS, BEATS & BEBOPPERS is a big new book of essays from Jim Burns. The Beat Scene assistant editor collects together his many essays from over the years in this handsome edition. Naturally there are articles on Burroughs, Kerouac, alongside others on John Clellon Holmes, Carl Solomon, Jack Micheline, Charlie Parker and others. Burns is a keen observer of the American scene over the decades and he doesn't always choose the easy, well known figures but opts sometimes for those on the outer limits of the literary and jazz  landscapes, old and newer. Maxwell Bodenheim, Anatole Broyard, William Herrick, Jack Conroy, Buddy Wise. His range and knowledge is vast in jazz, in American books, left wing and Socialist politics, banned actors, film makers, Jim Burns will have an insight on them. This book definitely gets my seal of approval.  Published by The Penniless Press (ISBN 978-1-4476-3072-2) www.pennilesspress.co.uk



  Those fine chaps James Birmingham (an esteemed writer for Beat Scene) and Kyle Schlesinger have come up with a fourth issue of their lovely MIMEO MIMEO literary magazine. The latest progression stylistically is that they've given this one a spine, what do they call it in the trade, 'Perfect Bound.' It looks great. Included in this issue are Asa Benveniste, Tom Raworth, an interview with David Meltzer, letters between Eric Mottram and Jeff Nuttall, a Trevor Winkfield interview, Ken Edwards on UK small press publishing since 1960, Alan Halsey and more. A whopping 90 pages of thorough research, interviews and stuff. An innovative magazine. Contact them at jbirmingham@hotmail.com or kyleschlesinger@gmail.com & they also have a blog at http://mimeomimeo.blogspot.com/

Gary Snyder, Michael McClure and others celebrating Snyder's first book Riprap. The event was 2009, runs for over an hour and is nice quality and you can find it at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zoMNpmkWjo

Peter Conner's book WHITE HAND SOCIETY (City Lights Press) see this fascinating interview  http://blogs.plos.org/blog/2011/04/21/the-plot-to-turn-on-the-world-the-learyginsberg-acid-conspiracy/


For years Ray's Jazz Shop in the Covent Garden area of London used to stock my Beat Scene magazine. It did ok there. The store was owned by longtime owner Ray Smith. I hardly ever spoke to Ray, more often to the very pleasant Glyn Callingham and Mike and Ski downstairs in the basement. Ray sold his business to Foyles and they subsequently sold the store and relocated Ray's Jazz Shop to the top floor of their bookshop in Charing Cross Road. I've just read that Ray Smith has died. What a shame. his jazz store was a bastion of something good in a sea of dross. See here a link to The Guardian's obit. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/apr/19/ray-smith-obituary

Interesting insight into how the Beats, and in particular Jack Kerouac, are taught in American universities can be seen in this 24 minute film. Go to http://academicearth.org/lectures/jack-kerouac-on-the-road-1

   RUTH WEISS MEETS HER PROMETHEUS, a film by Frederick Baker, is a twenty minute documentary relating Ruth Weiss going home to Vienna to where she lived as a child. Her family had to escape the German invasion in the 1930s. Ruth has been part of the California poetry scene since the 1950s but went home to the building in Vienna she knew as home. A giant sized figure of Prometheus stood in the lobby of what was once a hotel and a frightened Weiss remembered him as a child, he was still there when she returned. A quirky but fascinating tale, where Ruth recites poetry and has a dialogue with Prometheus. Contact Ruth Weiss at Box 535, Albion, California 95410, USA. She doesn't do email.

www.litquake.org is the site for the San Francisco Poetry Festival. A nice photo here of Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Steve Earle and Lenny Kaye at last years festival honouring Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

LOVE ALWAYS, CAROLYN is a new 70 minute documentary film about Carolyn Cassady. For info go to http://www.wgfilm.com/english/productions/productions/LoveAlwaysCarolyn/production_details/

Jack Kerouac Slept Here - a film by Mark Reese - is a new movie being premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival early in April. A documentary it relates the life of Jack Kerouac in Florida and centres on one of the houses he had there. Go to http://diamondsalongthehighway.com/

And here is another link to stuff about JACK KEROUAC SLEPT HERE - the film. http://filmguide.sarasotafilmfestival.com/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=1033

You Beat Scene subscribers are a talented bunch. Here is a link to Aussie David Pepperell reading some poems about Stan Getz, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. See what you think. Nice one David. http://www.extempore.com.au/?page_id=2396&utm_source=extempore+Update&utm_campaign=aa09705d1d-ext_12_7_2010&utm_medium=email

He has a big new collection out - OF INDIGO & SAFFRON, and Michael McClure has been reading around America in support of his new book. A link here to him reading way back. http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/michael_mcclure_poetry_peyote/

  Just in is a big new collection from Michael McClure. OF INDIGO AND SAFFRON: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS. Published by The University of California Press. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520262874

Sad news that Janine Pommy Vega died on December 23. Janine had not been in good health for some years, but did her best to carry on what she always did. She was 68. Above you'll see Janine with from left, Andy Clausen, Charles Plymell and Ray Bremser in 1998. Janine was a good friend of Beat Scenes, a warm correspondent. She visited England in recent years, the Lake District and other places. More news when I have it.

For a decent write up on Peter Orlovsky, go to - some unseen photos also. http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=16901

Thanks to Beat Scene friend Dan who sent in this link from his local paper about the HOWL movie starring James Franko (and not Shig) http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10330/1105930-120.stm


Jack Kerouac, 'Gone in October.'

The European Beat Studies Network has recently been set up by William Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris and by Polina Mackay. The aim is to foster greater awareness and understanding of the Beat Generation. It seems a very laudable venture to me. To find out more go to http://ebsn.eu/

Iain Sinclair has a new collection of poems POSTCARDS FROM THE 7th FLOOR. Published as a handsome paperback by Pighog Press, the book is a collaboration with artist Oona Grimes. www.pighog.co.uk or email info@pighog.co.uk

A thoughtful article on the Howl movie and James Franco in the Allen Ginsberg role - http://www.slate.com/id/2268627/

It started out very nicely. Me and M.Ring set off for the Beat Hotel photo exhibition in London's King's Road early in the day. Saturday morning, last day of July. A freshening morning rain shower on the way to the station. Marylebone is such a lovely little station to arrive at. A lot of old character. A quick & expensive taxi ride to the Proud Gallery at 161 King's Road to see Harold Chapman's photos of Ginsberg, Corso, Orlovsky, Norse, Somerville and others who lived in this old and tatty hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris. A small gallery, no air conditioning in the growing humidity but wonderful to see these pictures at this size and close up. There wasn't a soul in the gallery, it had opened on July 29 and it runs til the end of August. It surprised me that nobody else was in to see it. Are we all so indifferent and unmoved these days? Had hoped to pick up a catalogue but there wasn't one, all done 'virtually' these days. So there will be no tangible record that this exhibit ever happened in years to come. A shame for Harold Chapman. It is a lovely modest little gallery in a very central location. The £400 + VAT prices for prints were out of my league I'm afraid. A few inexpensive postcard versions might have helped for us riffraff. Guess those with deeper pockets might go for one of these limited signed prints. There were brilliant photos downstairs of legendary 1960s musicians like Hendrix, Clapton, The Stones, Dylan. Taken by various photographers. All going for a lot of money. But terrific images. They don't make musicians like these anymore. The humidity in the gallery got the better of us and we had to move out & along the road to the John Sandos bookshop further along. We walked past later in the day and the gallery was still empty. How sad is that? The Beat Hotel exhibit is well worth your time. Just go on a cooler day. see www.proud.co.uk


This below is a review of Michael McClure's latest poetry collection Mysteriosos. Taken from The Beat Studies Association. A neat alternative take to the Beat Scene page on the book.

Mysterioso and Other Poems by Michael McClure. NY: New Directions, 2010.

Reviewed by Tom Pynn

Idiots, trying to get out of the threefold world!

Where will you go?

--Lin-Chi (d. 866)

Lin Chi’s comment is directed at those who ignore the phenomenal world of experience in which enlightening practice unfolds and instead seek illusory security and knowledge in words and phrases, tradition, or other cultural artifacts in order to escape from the threefold world of desire, form, and formlessness (Watson 54). For Lin-Chi’s form of Ch’an and Buddhism generally, the phenomenal world offers the opportunity to cease the suffering patterns, seen and unseen, that we create for others and ourselves. It is the ultimate practice space. In keeping with this philosophy, far from indulging the dream of escape from our phenomenal situation, Michael McClure has sought a deepening engagement with the body and all the world’s creatures.

Since his reading of “For the Death of 100 Whales” at the 6 Gallery reading in 1955, McClure has maintained a committed stance toward this threefold world. “My poetry is to make myself conscious,” he has stated, but this doesn’t mean he views his art as a purely expressionistic act. He continues rehearsing Shelley’s dictum that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of their times” and so has aligned himself “with a movement or a thread or a stream or a surge of individuals who are interested in liberation of the body, in the liberation of the imagination and the liberation of consciousness” (McClure 6-7). The above imagery of ACTION is not incidental. McClure’s recovery of embodiment, of linking mind-bodyconsciousness— MEAT—conjoins poetry and biology:

“It’s moving in the direction of recovering the biological self” (10).

“Our unending war against nature is the crisis from which I write,” McClure writes in the “Author’s Introduction” to his latest volume of poems, echoing Mallarmé’s view that poets write from a state of crisis (ix). One aspect of this crisis from which McClure composes is the schizophrenic divide we have created between consciousness and body. Inherited from the Renaissance, this duality now threatens not only our individual and collective sense of self, but also the stability and health of all the planet’s life forms and even the planet itself. Instead of duality, McClure’s poetry has always emphasized interconnections between forms.

In the volume’s opening poem, McClure indicates the complex interplay of light and dark, of good and evil, of which all things are made:



peers inside of me.

The same darkness that is in him, however, is also “[t]he blackness inside a salmon / or a root of peyote” (5). Though the poem ends in a frank statement that all things die, this must not be mistaken for fatalism but should be viewed in context of an overriding theme of the collection, that in order to begin healing the self and world we must first admit that the darkness within us is as real as the urge for light.

“My shoulders are decency and indecency,” McClure observes, “interpenetrating / like wisdom and compassion.” Indeed, one of the striking things about this collection is the overwhelming feeling of love being expressed in a vast majority of the poems. I am even tempted to think of Mysterioso as a volume of love poems.

If this Mysterioso can be considered love poetry, then it’s love poetry of a Beat kind. Love is found not on the heights of Parnassus or in some dreamlike erotic imagery or fantasy, but in the messy realms of desire and form. For instance, in “Mangos and Plastic” the poet contrasts his life with the great Bengali Rishi and poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941):


My life

is eagles, and cars,

and mountains,

and plastic trash

that scatters cracked

and smiling faces.

It is love poetry that holds contraries together: “the unimagined gleam” of a life each day filled “with smiles and tears / and kisses” and “life eating life . . . / as we float on a sea / of petroleum” (31, 11). It is in this light that the second section of the book, “GRAHHRS: WAR POEMS GRAHHR POEMS,” contains work that combines imagery of war and ecocide with wedding poems.

It is in the section titled “DEAR BEING,” “a garland of thirty-seven poems,” that the imagery of interpenetration really stands out. McClure explains that these poems emerge out of two main movements: “repeating opening lines of old poems to begin new poems” and his study of Hua-yen Buddhism. A significant school of Chinese Buddhism founded by Fa-tsang (643-712), Hua-yen emphasizes the interconnectedness or inter-being of all things and their dependence upon one another. Furthermore, and this seems to be important for McClure, all things are in harmony with each other. In the case of the disturbing images of cluster bombs falling on grandfathers walking with their grandchildren in Baghdad or helpless soldiers being bulldozed in trenches, it is a difficult lesson to learn. In such a world, “Everything happens at once, in one time: azure eyelids of the lizard blink, mynah birds fly to the roof, and tanks blast children in concrete bunkers. (84)

While “[t]he concords of greed are being delivered in tanks,” McClure can also write,

Dear Being, I am thrilled

to be with you while the auras and zigzags and flashes

spring from us, and into us, and through us.

Where we are there is no greater density


than the passing experience,

rippling into nowhere.


That impermanence can yield ecstasy is one of the mysteries of this volume in particular and McClure’s work in general. Yet, this has been characteristic of many of the artists working in post-World War II America. Even in the dark moments of big sur, Kerouac could write optimistically that life is safe and will yet turn into that Golden Eternity in which all things are brought into ecstatic light. McClure’s poetry suggests a slightly different view. Not that everything will work out, but that we fail to see that the Golden Eternity is here and now in “the passing experience, / rippling into nowhere” (101). These poems are intimations of interbeing: buddhavatamsaka.

Most consistently the double image of form and formless, or emptiness and form as the Heart Sutra avers, is developed in the poems that comprise “Double Moiré.” Dedicated to Francis Crick (1916-2004), Nobel Prize winner in medicine in 1962 for co-founding the double helical structure of DNA, these poems alternate between visible and invisible, double patterns that bring together McClure’s principle interests in desire, flesh, consciousness, protein synthesis and the liberation from all form. The intermingling of form and formless can be read in the following sestet:



or a moon-bow of ivory telling the time

that will come to be tangled in roots of cress

in the brook. This canny voiceless whisper

powers all galaxies as the water strider

skims on the Technicolor pool. (126)

Wonder and delight, energy and melody infuse all of the poems in “Double Moiré.” In another poem, the speaker declares that “[w]hen all is alive everything sings the silence” (112).

It’s easy to hear in these poems the music that is always in the background of McClure’s writing. As in the case of performance, he has and continues to bring out the melodic and rhythmic qualities of his lines by collaborating with musicians such as Ray Manzarek, Terry Riley, and Riders on the Storm, a band founded by Manzarek and Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger. In the current case of “Double Moiré,” if one goes to YouTube and types in “Double Moiré 3rd Movement,” one will find McClure’s performance of these poems and the jazz soundings of George Brook et al. – a delightful experience.

Works Cited

McClure, Michael. Lighting the Corners: On Art, Nature, and the Visionary. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1993.

Watson, Burton. Translator. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi. NY: Columbia University Press, 1999.


Harold Norse’s 1984 Amsterdam reading Harold Norse Of Course
is finally available on both CD and double vinyl LP.
The CD version is in a handsomely designed and very lightweight ‘digipak.’
The LP has some three dozen photos of Harold at various stages in his long (just under 93 years) life on the inside sleeves.
Previously available on audio cassette, this new release is a joint venture of Unrequited Records (San Francisco) and Ins & Outs Press (Amsterdam). And is being mainly sold and distributed by Unrequited. (Amsterdam residents can buy from Eddie Woods at  metal.dragon@hetnet.nl  - All others, in the EU and elsewhere, should go to the website and order there at
Unrequited Records http://www.unrequitedrecords.com/
And on the Unrequited site, also click Listen to hear four of the 20 tracks. Or click straightaway on http://www.unrequitedrecords.com/Listen.html

  West Coast poet Neeli Cherkovski is featured in this journal, (see link below) an article where he reflects on being both a biographer, Bukowski, Ferlinghetti and a poet. His latest work, From the Canyon Outward (www.rlcrow.com) is featured in Beat Scene 62. http://ww.examiner.com/x-4545-SF-Poetry-Examiner~y2010m7d6-Nexus-poet-Neeli-Cherkovski-walks-the-past-into-the-future

David Meltzer's collection will be the 60th in that iconic City Lights Pocket Poets series, the little black and white paperbacks. Probably published late 2010 or early 2011, according to a reliable source.

   Peter Orlovsky died May 30 at approximately 11.30 a.m. I understand he died in a hospice from lung cancer and complications stemming from that. Peter was born in 1933 and was 76. For years he was the companion of Allen Ginsberg. More when I have it. Below is a link to an obituary written for the English daily newspaper The Independent  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/peter-orlovsky-beat-poet-and-life-partner-of-allen-ginsberg-1990004.html

Plus, here is a link to the USA's New York Times obituary. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/arts/03orlovsky.html?ref=obituaries

    Allen Ginsberg has a photographic exhibition at the Smithsonian...see here for a review..


Gary Snyder and novelist Jim Harrison got together for a long hike and you can see them in this trailer for the documentary film Practice of the Wild. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=333498817232

Beat Scene deputy editor Jim Burns has a new poetry collection just out. Streetsinger is published by Shoestring Press. His poems draw on a lifetime's experience of living in the north, the war, jazz, art, socialist politics and history and much more. There is a sharp realism about everything he writes.  www.shoestringpress.co.uk

Lost Steps is a fascinating radio show centred around, I think, London and the diverse history and goings on of the place. Produced in conjunction with Resonance radio, they did an interview with Miles in March, focusing on his new book London Calling. In this near thirty minute interview there is recollection of Ginsberg, Corso and Ferlinghetti in London in the mid 1960s and much talk of the 'counter culture.' As always Miles is an engaging talker. Find it at http://www.loststeps.org.uk/Miles.php

He vehemently states he is not one of the Beat Generation, he simply published them, yet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is as Beat as they come. He was 91 years old this week. See this silent b/w film footage of him outside his City Lights bookstore in North Beach, San Francisco in, I believe, the late 1950s. Mr Ferlinghetti I salute you. http://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/188468


  There is a short recent interview with Gary Snyder at  http://www.milforddailynews.com/entertainment/books/x1669539622/Pulitzer-Prize-winning-poet-Gary-Snyder-comes-to-Acton   

English journalist Stephen Maughan has an article about the latest developments in the Kerouac Estate wrangle in Fine Books magazine. Photo of Kerouac's nephew Paul Blake and his daughter Jan. http://www.finebooksmagazine.com/issue/201001/kerouac-1.phtml

In an age where used bookstores are fast becoming a distant memory, remember the simple pleasure of just browsing through piles of old books, never knowing what surprises might be at the bottom of that box? Well, for a few years now, an ex longtime senior partner at the sadly missed Compendium Bookshop in London's Camden Town has been operating Labyrinth Bookshop in Glastonbury High Street with his partner. I've visited this used bookstore a few times and Glastonbury, for those that have never been, has a charm all of its own.  Nice place. A used bookstore that is fighting the corporate march. See http://www.labyrinthbooks.co.uk/ 

Poet and musician Jim Carroll has died. Go here for the New York Times obituary http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/books/14carroll.html?_r=1

And in England the daily newspaper, The Guardian, has a thoughtful obituary on him - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/sep/22/jim-carroll-obituary

Fascinating material on Bukowski, featuring Neeli Cherkovski and Jack Hirschman. Go to the City Lights bookstore site and enjoy it. http://www.citylightspodcast.com/

    ABSTRACT ALCHEMIST OF FLESH is a newly issued documentary about the life and work of Michael McClure. Filmed by Londoner Colin Still, the documentary includes rarely seen footage of McClure through the years and some previously unpublished photos. There is scarce film footage of Allen Ginsberg and others. Michael McClure is interviewed and reads from many of his books. His musical collaborator Ray Manzarek is also interviewed and the duo are filmed in rehearsal and performance. Others featured include Peter Coyote, McClure's first wife Joanna, musician Terry Riley, poet Joanne Kyger, Amy Evans McClure, (Michael's wife), Dennis Hopper and others. Beautifully filmed. For more go to www.opticnerve.co.uk

   There will be a new book of Elise Cowen poems out soon. The book will be bilingual (English/German). Most of the poems are published for the first time. It is about 220 pages
Price: 16 Euro (plus shipping costs)
ISBN: 978-3-936271-43-0
contact Ralf Zuhlke at Stadtlichter Presse, Wennerstorfer Kirchweg 65, 21279 Wenzendorf, Germany
Tel.: 0 41 65-8 11 69


Click here for photos and reports on the fairly recent Naked Lunch at 50 events in Paris. http://brianjonesjoujoukafestival.blogspot.com/2009/07/naked-lunch-50th-anniversary-and.html


   Writer Barry Gifford needs no introduction from me. His connection with the Beat Generation is largely based around the biography of Jack Kerouac he did with Lawrence Lee way back and a little book KEROUAC'S TOWN that was published by Creative arts a long time ago. In an extensive interview with Noel King he talks about writing a screenplay for Francis Ford Coppola's proposed movie of Kerouac's ON THE ROAD and much more besides. He is one hell of a writer and seems to operate in a world where days last for weeks. http://jacketmagazine.com/36/iv-gifford-ivb-king.shtml


New William Burroughs film coming in August I understand. http://www.williamsburroughsthemovie.com/

  One for all the Charles Bukowski readers out there.click on the link and enjoy the read. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19870210/PEOPLE/812229998

Just like the buses, nothing for a long time and then three at once. If they do finally track their way through the long and winding road that is film production. ON THE ROAD, HOWL and Lucien Carr will all be on our cinema screens next year. It says here. Of course Lucien Carr featured in the low key film BEAT with Keifer Sutherland and Courtney Love a year or two back. Not a lot of people seem to know that. Almost a straight to DVD type film. Click below for news.


For a review of the new Burroughs, Kerouac book AND THE HIPPOS WERE BOILED IN THEIR TANKS - go to the English daily newspaper The Independent at http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-young-generation-burroughs-and-kerouac--an-unpublished-collaboration-986188.html

  Beat Scene recently covered Deborah Baker's totally absorbing A BLUE HAND: THE BEATS IN INDIA - check here for more on that book http://www.deborahbaker.net/

For the lowdown on a new USA film that features the art of Wallace Berman and the Ferus Gallery - go to http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/coolschool/

Ahead of a sizeable article about the Ted Berrigan interview with Jack Kerouac for The Paris Review in 1968, which will feature in the number 20 issue of Transit Magazine -  I'd like to point you in the direction of an interview with Aram Saroyan on KCRW radio dating from 1994. In this thirty minute interview Saroyan talks about his friend Berrigan and in particular the then new COLLECTED POEMS OF TED BERRIGAN (Penguin). A fascinating interview and a real pleasure to listen to.. http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/bw/bw940815aram_saroyan

See this extended article on Philip Whalen at an interesting NYC literary site http://www.tribes.org/web/2008/08/06/philip-whalen-the-buddhist-charles-olson-by-tom-savage/

Donald Miller has a thoughtful Beat Generation hued site at http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller11.html

See the English newspaper THE GUARDIAN for this article on Gary Snyder


Have a look at this article from the New York Times of the past week. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/books/review/Donadio-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

In the past couple of months David Meltzer suffered a serious fall and was in hospital. I hear he is recovering. Knowledgeable observers of the beat scene will know David's work through the years. We wish David well and a speedy recovery. Go to http://www.meltzerville.com/ to find out more about him.



For news on a very new film NEAL CASSADY, directed by Noah Buschel, go to http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/festival2005/details.php?id=17904  

Have a read here and see a thoughtful review in the English daily newspaper THE GUARDIAN by AM. Homes of the new UK paperback edition of Jack Kerouac's recently published play BEAT GENERATION. I'm relieved Homes hasn't fallen for the myth of the 'lost play.' The reality is Jack Kerouac dearly wanted the play to be produced and also published. Nobody was interested and he put it away, deflated by the rejection. The play was never lost. See  http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2103960,00.html



Click on the link below to download a 30-min programme celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Kerouac's "On the Road."  With Carolyn Cassady, Al Hinkle, Joyce Johnson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gore Vidal, Michael McClure, and others:


We carried news of the Michael McClure play THE BEARD www.thebeardplay.com - in 2006 and director Nic Saunders has kindly allowed us to show some photos from the run in July/August of 2006. That's Nic just below with Michael.

Photos above right, director Nic Saunders with playwright Michael McClure outside the Old Red Lion Theatre in London. Bottom left...THE BEARD, a scene being filmed by Colin Still. Right, Billy The Kid (Christopher Daley) and Jean Harlow (Victoria Yeates) in a scene from the play. All photos copyright Nic Saunders.

above, Michael McClure at a book signing in London during his visit to London in July 2006. Photo by Nic Saunders, director of Michael's play THE BEARD. photo copyright Nic Saunders


Above a photo of Gary Snyder and Anne Waldman that Anne sent in recently. It was taken at Naropa in Colorado at the school that Anne co-founded with Allen Ginsberg in the 1970s. The photo was taken in 1994.

BEAT SCENE subscriber Giuseppe Moretti has sent in this photograph of Gary Snyder in Italy in September 2005. He was there for readings in Rome and Florence. The photo is taken up in the Dolomites.

If anyone is interested there is an interview with yours truly at www.dogmatika.com where I talk about Beat Scene magazine. Throughout the interview there are many informative links to the people mentioned. An excellent site regardless of my inclusion. 

Have a look at a fairly new internet site run by the Cassady family, all about Neal Cassady at www.nealcassadyestate.com lots of really personal entries.

There is a wonderful article/interview with photographer Gordon Ball on John Tranter's excellent Jacket site. Photos of Huncke, Ginsberg, Corso and others. Go to www.jacketmagazine.com/33/index.shtml


Thank you David Knowles for reminding me to include this link to the Naropa Archives of Beat Recordings at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Colorado. They are in the never ending process of transferring the cassette tapes onto discs to better preserve them. People like Gregory Corso, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Ken Kesey and many others. You might know about this already, but just in case – some interesting audio here: http://www.archive.org/details/naropa

Check out The Jack and Stella Kerouac Center For American Studies in Lowell at http://www.uml.edu/college/arts_sciences/kerouac_center/default.html the center is at 61 Wilder Street, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854, USA. Tel 978-934-4195