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On a Porch in Boulder

On a Porch in Boulder

(p.385) Chapter 23 On a Porch in Boulder
Ann ChartersSamuel Charters
University Press of Mississippi

In the summer of 1982, Allen Ginsberg arranged a ten-day conference in Boulder, Colorado to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road. It was also a celebration of the Beat Generation and their accomplishments. It was at the Naropa Institute in Boulder that Ginsberg and Anne Waldman had established their center for Beat studies, which they named the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Ginsberg invited filmmaker and friend Robert Frank to document the gatherings on the porch. Among those in attendance were John Clellon Holmes, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Creeley, Herbert Huncke, Diane di Prima, Carl Solomon, Carolyn Cassady, William Burroughs, and Ken Kesey. Holmes, who described the conference in his essay “Envoi in Boulder,” had undergone aggressive surgery for the cancer in his mouth and jaw. On July 15, 1986, he revealed that his cancer had returned. Despite his terminal illness, Holmes was still able to produce three collections of essays for the University of Arkansas Press even as he continued to write poetry.

Keywords:   poetry, Allen Ginsberg, conference, Boulder, Colorado, Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Beat Generation, cancer, essays

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