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Friday, September 16, 2005

From the Mailbag: 18th Annual Jack Kerouac Festival.

The following forwarded message recently arrived in my mail box from Dan Wilcox's Topica list:

From: teresa costa
Date: September 13, 2005 9:42:14 AM EDT
To: teresa costa
Subject: [poetrybay] lowell celebrates kerouac/check this out:

The 18th Annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! Festival will occur October 6-9, 2005 in Lowell, Massachusetts. This year the theme is 'Jack's Roots.' The festival will examine the rich multi-ethnic, and literary heritage that influenced his work as well as his association with classical culture and contemporary events.

This year the festival coincides with the biennial University of Massachusetts Jack Kerouac Conference on Beat Literature.

The keynote speaker is Sam Kashner, author of the book, 'When I was Cool,' his account of being the first poetry student at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. Kashner will speak on Friday afternoon at the O'Leary building, room 222, South Campus, which is located on Wilder Street.

Kerouac was a track and field athlete and a preliminary lead-in event that will occur the preceding Sunday, October 2, is the third annual running of the Kerouac 5K road race beginning near Kerouac Park and ending on Worthen Street.

On Thursday, October 6, Lowell's, Destination World will feature food, film, music, and readings in cooperation with Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! and the University of Massachusetts, with a focus on Franco-American culture with origins in Canada.

Numerous non-conference related events are happening in a number locations. Please check listings and schedules available from the Lowell National Historical Park and the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau for times and locations.

--Saturday will feature tributes to Hunter S. Thompson, Lucien Carr, Robert Creeley, and Philip Lamantia. Poetrybay editor George Wallace is among those who will speak at the Lamantia tribute.

--There will be a talk on Allen Ginsberg by Bill Morgan as part of the Parker Lecture Series, following David Amram's Cairo to Kerouac music extravaganza at the Pollard Library.

--John Ventimiglia, widely known for his role in the film Jesus' Son and the character Artie Bucco on The Soprano's will be joining Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! with David Amram on Saturday night for an evening of Jazz in Jack's Town. Neil Cassady's son, John Allen Cassady, named after Jack (John) Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg will be joining Ventamiglia for an evening of Jazz that also celebrates the DVD release of a performance done by Cassady, Amram, and Steve Edington, at the 2004 LCK! Festival in Lowell. There will also be a raffle at the event for one (possibly two) of the now Baseball Hall of Fame famous Kerouac Bobbleheads!

--In addition to several Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP) hosted Kerouac-related walking tours and a boat tour, LNHP will host a bus tour and an evening walking tour led by Roger Brunelle. Also, there will be a Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! hosted tour of local establishments where Jack socialized with friends and family while living in Lowell during the mid-1960's.

--There will be open mics, a high school poetry contest, book signings, film showings, including one on Michael McClure and one on Charles Olson, nearly 30 events over four days. Admission is free to the vast majority of these events and minimal, or a small suggested donation, at the few that are not free.

For more information see the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! website, or dial 877-Kerouac. You may also contact Lawrence Carradini, President of Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! by email at

If you would like to subscribe to Dan's (largely Albany, N.Y.) literary mailing list, you can contact him at

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