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A Turn of the Circle

A Turn of the Circle

(p.352) Chapter 21 A Turn of the Circle
Ann ChartersSamuel Charters
University Press of Mississippi

After his book Nothing More to Declare was rejected by Viking in the late autumn of 1965, John Clellon Holmes traveled to Fayetteville to spend a semester of what he termed “gypsy-teaching” at the University of Arkansas. He had been hired for the spring semester as a Writer-In-Residence in a trial Master of the Arts program in creative writing at the university. When the semester was over, Holmes and his wife Shirley returned to Old Saybrook. In July E. P. Dutton & Company agreed to publish Nothing More to Declare. Holmes then turned to his old manuscript of Perfect Fools, while his friend Jack Kerouac was struggling as his works continued to receive dismissive reviews. By the mid-1960s, however, readers would finally learn to appreciate Kerouac’s books, which began to sell in the tens of thousands in paperback editions both in the United States and abroad. The market was soon flooded with small press books by poets and novelists associated with the Beat Generation. The Beats underwent a transformation, first into Beatniks and then into hippies.

Keywords:   poets, John Clellon Holmes, gypsy-teaching, University of Arkansas, Jack Kerouac, novelists, Beat Generation, Beatniks, hippies

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