1. Viking Penguin has been releasing several new Kerouac publications. The only one I’ve seen so far is Book of Blues, a wonderful collection of mostly-unpublished Kerouac poems, written in the same jazz-inspired ‘Chorus’ form he used for Mexico City Blues and other poetic works. As in these other works, most of the poems are named after the place they were written, and now we even have a couple of poems originating from my own beloved borough of Queens, New York (where Kerouac lived as a young man): “Ozone Park Blues” and “Richmond Hill Blues.” I love it!
2. An exhibit of Allen Ginsberg‘s photographs will be at the Tibor De Nagy Gallery on 57th Street in New York City starting September 7. Call (212) 421-3780 for more info.
3. What can I say about Jerry Garcia that hasn’t already been said? Nothing, I guess. But I recently got a very nice note from John Cassady, Neal’s son, and among other things he sent me the text of a letter he wrote to the San Jose Mercury News about his own memories of Jerry.
4. I’ve mostly avoided discussing the hot dispute that has been raging over the ownership of Kerouac’s estate. This topic has been so much in the news lately, though, that it seemed almost necessary for me to touch upon it in these pages. A great opportunity to do so arose recently when a Beat aficianado named Ralph Virgo offered to create a special section within Literary Kicks devoted specially to original writings from people who knew Kerouac or have particular expertise regarding his life or work. The first installment of Inside the Kerouac Legacy
features an original article by Kerouac biographer Gerald Nicosia, who (as many of you may know) has been one of the key figures in the recent disputes over Kerouac’s estate. This whole section is Ralph Virgo’s gig — I’m staying out of it myself …
Other articles will hopefully follow in this series, focusing on a broad range of areas, and not just the matter of the estate.
5. Tricycle, a popular Buddhist journal, has dedicated a large part of its latest issue to “Buddhism and the Beat Generation.” They’ll also be publishing a book on the subject, “Big Sky Mind,” with writings by Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, Ginsberg, Joanne Kyger and others. Tricycle also has a new web page.
6. There’s a new Ken Kesey home page here.