Tomorrow marks a momentous day for Beat fans as it is the birthday of Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac. We know him better as Jack Kerouac, born March 12th 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Kerouac along with Allen Ginsberg and William S Burroughs would lead the new style of writing that we refer to today as Beat Writing. That generation would be led by Kenneth Rexroth and included Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Neal Cassady, Philip Whalen, Diane di Prima Gary Snyder, Robert Creeley and Michael McClure.

Kerouac did not start his career as a beat, in fact his first novel “Town and Country” published in 1950 read more like a Thomas Wolfe novel. However after its failure to sell, he took a new more ‘spontaneous’ approach to the novel and began crafting what would become his opus, “On the Road”. This novel along with Ginsberg’s “Howl” and Burrough’s “Naked Lunch” would build the foundation of Beat Writing and forever change the direction of storytelling and poetry.

So Thursday we will honor Jack Kerouac with a Poetry Slam at InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City. Located in the Warehouse District on Garland Street it is the perfect atmosphere to pit poet versus poet in a battle to be crowned the King of the Beats of Traverse City. The evening will begin with a special performance by S.T.R.U.M., the Society of Traverse Region Ukulele Musicians. The event is free and come dressed as your favorite Beat. Who will take the crown? Come and find out, show begins at 7:00PM. To sign up to read call 231-922-7225.

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