Beat News: November 21 1997

1. Proving once again that I am the single slowest web designer who ever lived, I have just now finally finished my memorial tribute to William S. Burroughs. It’s called Sliced Bardo, and it includes spliced-in material from Lee Ranaldo, Robert Creeley and Carolyn Cassady, as well as a touching description of a Buddhist-inspired after-death ceremony held in Burroughs’ honor, written by Patricia Elliott.

2. “The Beat Generation In New York” is a really enjoyable and well-researched historical sweep through New York City in search of Beat relics and places. The book is by Bill Morgan, who worked very closely with Allen Ginsberg in recent years, and as Morgan was preparing this book I had the pleasure of following him on one of the walking tours documented in this book.
He speaks with authority, and this book captures it well. It was published by City Lights, and you can find it on their list of recent releases.
Janine Pommy Vega’s captivating new book “Tracking The Serpent,” a beat-informed geographical memoir chronicling her journeys to faraway places, can also be found on this page.

3. Al Aronowitz is in the house. Calling himself “The Blacklisted Journalist”, this feisty counterculture-oriented former New York Post reporter has fallen out of favor with one establishment after another, and is now bypassing them all and trying to reach the world directly through his ever-growing website. His beat legacy is awesome — apparently he is the person who introduced Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan and the Beatles to each other. His observations on Ginsberg, Kerouac, Cassady, Joyce Johnson, etc. are raw and densely woven with personal rivalries (“I was on Allen’s shit list when he died …”) but they’re good reading, and that’s what counts.

4. A star-studded crowd of Kerouac readers, including Willem Defoe, Ed Sanders, Anne Waldman, Maggie Estep, Lee Ranaldo, Doug Brinkley, Todd Colby, Ann Douglas, David Amram and many others, will be pondering the recently released “Some of the Dharma” (see below) at St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project on Dec 3rd. Should be good. But please don’t forsake your friendly neighborhood internet hacks for these admittedly more impressive
lineups — the night before, on Dec 2nd, I’ll be participating in a reading of web writers to celebrate my own recently published anthology Coffeehouse: Writings From The Web. It’s at the Manhattan Internet Lounge at 678 Broadway near 4th Street, and if you can make it I promise you a unique evening. Hope to see some of you at both events!

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