By Jane Henderson
Post-Dispatch Book Editor
Writers and readers conjure up the spirit of the Beats on Saturday at
the 11th annual Day of the Dead Beats.
Beat writers Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs both died in
1997. That year, the St. Louis Poetry Center's Paul Thiel and others
organized the first reading to remember the radical literary
subculture that included Ginsberg, ("Howl") Burroughs ("Naked
Lunch"), Jack Kerouac ("On the Road") and others.
According to the Poetry Center, St. Louis' event is "by far the
largest yearly Beat celebration in the region." The name Day of the
Dead Beats is, of course, a play on the Mexican holiday.
St. Louis was the birthplace of William Burroughs and childhood home
of one of the guys who actually brought together Burroughs, Ginsberg
and Kerouac. That guy, another St. Louisan, was Lucien Carr. While
the young men lived in New York in the 1940s, Carr killed yet another
St. Louisan, David Kammerer, who later was portrayed as obsessed
with Carr and a sexual predator. (Carr, who served only 2 years in
jail, went on to become a UPI editor and the father of author Caleb
Carr.) The Carr, Burroughs and Kerouac story is all going to be
newsworthy again next month with the release of a very early novel, a
collaboration of Kerouac and Burroughs. We'll be reporting on that
book in a review Nov. 16.
So back to the Day of the Dead Beats: It begins at 8 p.m. at the Way
Out Club, 2525 Jefferson Avenue. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cover charge is
$3. For more info: 314-664-7638
Here is a list of local readers and the Beat writer they will honor:
Kenneth Brown reading William S. Burroughs
Michael Franklin reading Gregory Corso's "Bomb"
Greg Hazleton reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Ann Haubrich reading Jack Kerouac.
Brock Walker reading Gary Snyder
K. Curtis Lyle reading Bob Kaufmann
Bob Wilcox reading Allen Ginsberg.
Bob Putnam reading Herbert Huncke.
Phil Gounis reading Jack Micheline
Chris King reading Kenneth Rexroth
Agnes Wilcox reading Diane DiPrima
Brett Underwood reading Charles Bukowski
Erin Wiles reading Anne Waldman
Joe Wetteroth reading Kenneth Patchen
Michael Castro reading Philip Lamantia