Beat News: July 22 2001

Okay … I just got back from an amazing weekend in Northport, Long Island hanging around with a bunch of people performing at this event, a four-city marathon reading of Kerouac’s novel ‘Big Sur’.
I got to spend a lot of time talking with Carolyn Cassady, who I’d never met before, and who had flown in from London just for this gathering. She was even more charming and insightful than I had expected.

Another highlight was the marathon reading itself. ‘Big Sur’ has enough chapters that most people were able to read their first choices, and I selected Chapter Nine. It was a wonderful honor to intone these great words into a mic as the David Amram Trio jammed behind — a special perk for the New York corner of this four-city event.

I also learned something I didn’t realize about LitKicks this weekend, when several people I hadn’t seen in months said to me “Why the hell aren’t you updating your Beat News page?” And “Why didn’t you announce this reading in Beat News?”

The truth is, having introduced message boards on LitKicks in January, I felt it might be time to retire the Beat News section of the site. I introduced message boards so that anybody could post to the site at any time. Beat News is not “postable”, and so it seemed old hat to me. I want the message boards at the center of the LitKicks experience, and I figured I could express anything I personally needed to express there instead of here.

But I was surprised to hear that several people don’t accept this reasoning, and in fact think I’m just being lazy in neglecting this page. Which is probably true. So, I’m going to try to stop ignoring this page. Hey, at least I wrote something today.

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