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Biography of Lew Welch

As it happens for many writers and artists, Lew Welch was often marked by uncertainty and conflicted with his role in society. He lacked the ability to meet goals he had set for himself and usually changed them anyway. He was prone to mental breakdowns from the time he was a baby and suffered with…

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The Death of Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs

Due to trouble with the law, mainly for drug possession and distribution, William S. Burroughs, his wife Joan and their children moved many times, ending up in Mexico City. One night Bill and Joan attended a party and, while drunk, it is argued that they decided to play a game of William Tell. While accounts…

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The Truth Behind David Kammerer’s Murder

It was because of Lucien Carr that Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs met and became friends. It was also because of Carr that Kerouac and Burroughs became material witnesses in a bizarre murder case. (Kill Your Darlings (2013)) In 1944, Allen Ginsberg met Lucien Carr at Columbia University. Carr was friends with…

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Documentaries About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was the major figure in a movement that would redefine American literature and social norms. He spent much of the 40s and 50s traveling the United States and Mexico on a journey to discover life outside of the mainstream American values. He is credited with coining the phrase ‘Beat Generation.’ While it’s not…

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Documentaries About the Beat Generation

Since the Beat Generation refers to a group of writers who were making history over half a century ago, it may be a little difficult to find video footage of them. But here is a list of some of the Beat Generation documentaries that best capture the counter-cultural phenomenon and the people that were involved.…

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Important Women Writers of the Beat Generation

With the rise of the Beat movement and writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, women writers of the Beat Generation were often overlooked and ridiculed. But, in the conformist 50s, there was a group of women fighting against the constraints of family and culture as independent writers and artists. They wanted…

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The San Francisco Beat Writers

While it is said that Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Neal Cassady are the original Beat writers, there are a number of other key figures that would cause the movement to explode across the nation. Kerouac and the Beats spent a lot of their time bouncing around the States, between New York…

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The Reed College Beat Writers

In 1948, three students at Reed College met, became friends and eventually became involved with the Beat Generation, the San Francisco Renaissance and the Black Mountain Poets. Gary Snyder Gary Sherman Snyder was born May 8, 1930 in San Francisco, California to Harold and Lois Hennessy Snyder. After attending Reed College with friends Philip Whalen…

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The Beat Generation in New York

In the mid 1940s, a group of writers came together in New York City. Hanging around Times Square, writing about drugs, homosexuality and alternative forms of spirituality, these artists pushed the limits of what was socially acceptable in the conformist 40s and 50s. They were the friends, inspirations and muses to great writers like Jack…

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The Women Behind the Beat Writers

Although the Beat Generation was most famously known for its male writers, artists and poets, there was also a group of women who played a major part in the movement and the lives of great men like Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady.   Edie Kerouac Parker Edie Parker was born…

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