1. The new Kerouac books (see below) are out. The Portable Jack Kerouac Reader is probably best for the newcomer, as it consists mainly of excerpts from novels and stories, with a few letters and other prose pieces. I still think the best way to discover Kerouac is just to read ‘On The Road,’ but maybe some people will find value in this collection.
The Collected Letters (the first of what will probably be two editions) looks really fascinating. I haven’t bought it yet, as I’ve already got a huge pile of stuff to read that’ll last me through the spring (I’m reading Ed Sanders’ “Tales Of Beatnik
Glory” right now). If anybody can send me a good review or summary I’ll link it in here.
2. Two new plugs: if you want a great catalog of Beat-related books and videos, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address included. Also, there’s a very cool on-paper publication called RALPH (subtitle: ‘Coffee, Jazz & Poetry’) which you might want to check out. It’s printed on an old Gestetner for that retro appeal, and it’s only four pages long so you don’t have to feel guilty about all the stuff you don’t read. If you’re interested, visit Ralph Alfonso’s web page or send e-mail to email@example.com.