A rollicking rapid-fire, mixed-media introduction to The Beat Generation – made especially for youth (specifically, a 11th grade lit class at a DoD base school) – with topics including:
what made The Beats, the beats (ergo: time, place, circumstance, intentions, global mindset, searching for “holy”)
characteristics of style (freeverse, spontaneous prose, collaboration, diversity, art + craft + integrity)
notable writers and characters including: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
roots and branches extending from the Beats like: Merry Pranksters, folkies, hippies, yippies, punks, DIY and even “digital nomads”
riffs about censorship, “obscenity” trials, sexuality, religiosity
call to action about the importance everyone with something to say “saying it” – including YOU
plus more notable writers: Gregory Corso, Richard Brautigan, Ruth Weiss, Diane DiParma & currently working Ron Whitehead and Anne Waldman
namechecks and cameos for: The Clash, Tom Waits, Jello Biafra, Ken Kesey, Wang Ping, Masa Uehara, Nanao Sakaki many more…
Presented from a historic barn in provincial Japan with vinyl records, artifacts, ephemera, loads of books, postcards etc – by storymaker Dave Olson who invites you to ask questions via postcard (address included within).
Pausing in the Kura barn from arranging dongles, cables, tripods – trying to upgrade tech aspect of telling stories – Dave starts with Kiana Brassest singing in the background while adding notes about decades of story making & thoughts about continuing with vigor.
Then into a recent Osera magazine cameo from a fermented foods tour (including saké, beer, cheese, wine, miso, shoyu…) in Maniwa, Okayama (which is also sorta son Ichiro’s first publication).
Next onto recent books by post including:
“Waiting for Now” world-traveling “Scarborough dude” Ken Bole *often very* candid letters from Japan, Nigeria, Thailand, Canada etc to friends and family (with numerous coincidences and intersections with my own life).
“High White Notes” – David S Wills’ brand-new literary biography of Gonzo writer/journalist renegade Hunter S Thompson – available from his Beatdom publishing imprint + riffs include namechecks for Dr. HST’s book of letters “Proud Highway” and references to Joseph Conrad (re: Importance of dedication to art), Henry Miller (re: Big Sur etc), and Jack Kerouac (re: enemy of my enemy is my friend – if he could get write about drugs and get published…)
“First Third” – beat, prankster, railroader, hero “Adonis of Denver” 50th anniversary of Neal Cassady’s partial autobiography, inscribed by his daughter Jami Cassady on behalf of Neal Cassady Estate –including postcards with noted photos of, and by, the elegant poet, photographer, lover and muse Carolyn Cassady – with the aim of “Keeping the legacy alive” ++ a bit about Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters Further bus.
Finally, a whole rundown of poets Gary Snyder and Wang Ping spending time together at Kitkitddizze in Sierra Nevada –working on translation, amplification and edification including coffee, Han Shan poems, Hanko stamps, sons Gen and Kei, Lagunitas IPA and gyoza dumplings and cowboy steaks, the history of Axe Handles poem (and translation thereof), Snyder’s new book “This Present Moment” and me at “home” (finally) in a red velvet robe with coffee cup by potter Marty Thurston Kendall of Utah knowing while our journey is our own, there is precedent for path before (like I can be 91 hanging out with my son Ichiro, living well and making poems in a barn).