The Sea is My Brother Published

Jack Kerouac’s novel, The Sea is My Brother, was published this last week posthumously. Thought to be lost at one time, it was discovered by Kerouac’s brother-in-law, Sebastian Sampas. The Sea is My Brother was Kerouac’s first novel and was penned in 1942-43 during his time at sea with the Merchant Marines on a trip to Greenland.

The Rum Diary

Just got back from seeing Rum Diary, a movie based on the novel that Hunter S. Thompson wrote in the early 60s; the novel was published in the late 90s, and the movie just came out (though seems to have a limited airing). The novel, inspired by Thompson’s journalistic experiences at a dying sports newspaper in Puerto Rico, and his time with some writers at the San Juan Star, has the same wild and raw feel that Thompson is known for. Continue reading

New BIG SUR review

Innovative Fiction has a review up of Big Sur, by Jack Kerouac. Reviewer David Detrich says:

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac is a novel which has inspired a literary renaissance in the fiction of Big Sur, written with the precise psychological insight into characterization. The narrator Duluoz shows an appreciation for the beauty of nature, and describes his experience of being alone in a rugged west coast environment, ending the novel with the innovative text Sea, Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur, a poetic study of the concrete sounds of the ocean, which makes this novel a classic of American innovative fiction.

Love Always, Carolyn

A new documentary about Carolyn Cassady (Love Always, Carolyn) will be shown at the Chicago International Film Festival in October this year.

Wife of famous roadster Neal Cassady, Carolyn was good friends with many of the beats, including Jack Kerouac.

Sweden based production company WG Film, behind films such as BANANAS! (2009) and Burma VJ (2008) is delighted to be part of the film Love Always, Carolyn, which will be screened at Chicago IFF. The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in New York in May this year, followed by a North American premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto, Ontario. The film is also being screened in competition at Nordisk Panorama Film Festival in Denmark. Preliminary screening dates at Chicago IFF will be October 16-17 2011. (More details will follow soon on www.chicagofilmfestival.com.)

The Sacred River of Consciousness

Tom Hibbard’s The Sacred River of Consciousness is on sale now at Moon Willow Press.

Reviews:

An unrelenting core sample of a world bent on its own destruction. Intensely moral and idealistic, Hibbard’s The SacredRiver of Consciousness is political and pragmatic, beautiful and ultimately encouraging. Hope surfaces from the wreckage.

-Michael Rothenberg, poet and author

Reboot movies and reload politicians and the land of the overdog –
all this money and nothing to spend it on, really? Really. At a time
when smart poets hide themselves under a borrowed shine, Tom Hibbard’s poems
are an obvious, emergent flow. Flux of useful blood, necessary silt.

-Buck Downs, American poet

Empire so often comes to this: “potholes imitating frozen potholes.” The poems in Tom Hibbard’s The Sacred River of Consciousness reflect on various crimes of humanity by simply reporting them. That Hibbard’s language is poetic rather than journalistic does not mask the realities being referenced — how at times life does unfold “as though civilization were garbage.” The suffering disenfranchised, the suffering environment, the corrupted governments, the dysfunctional relationships — how did compassion evaporate? That question is but one of many begot by these poems. For the poems also ask “at what time does the candle make crimes unredeemable.” The answer could be: upon the lighting of the candle or consciousness of those events, hence the import of Hibbard’s poems. If these poems facilitate that consciousness where the New York Times et al has failed, the river may yet turn sacred again. For the sake of the planet, open yourself up to these poems.

-Eileen Tabios, poet and author

A Rap Tribute to James Joyce

From Leah Paulos:

“On Bloomsday (June 16), Frank Delaney will complete the first year of his 20-some-year podcast project on ‘Ulysses’! To celebrate, he’s releasing a video of his rap tribute to James Joyce. Watch it here.

Author and former BBC broadcaster and Booker Prize judge Frank Delaney offers up a weekly podcast in which he deconstructs James Joyce’s “Ulysses” line by line, with insight, eloquence, and humor in 5-minute free episodes. The project launched on Bloomsday 2010 and is expected to last about 25 years—until every last reference in the book is unpacked. For Bloomsday 2011, Delaney will summarize Chapter 1 as well as release a video for James Joyce rap. You can listen to the Re:Joyce podcasts on Delaney’s website and iTunes.”

The Beat Hotel — documentary

Alan Govenar is a filmmaker who is nearly finished creating a feature-length documentary about the Beat Hotel, and William Burroughs’ and Allen Ginsberg’s time there in Paris. For the next two months, Alan is raising funds to finish this project by offering a limited, exclusive t-shirt of a young Allen Ginsberg at the Beat Hotel and other perks.

To see the documentary trailer and more about the film, click here.

To donate, click here.

The Beat Hotel covers the period after Howl’s obscenity trials when Ginsberg left the US with Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso and landed in Paris, France. They stayed at 9, Rue Git le Couer, which came to be known as the Beat Hotel. Others, like William Burroughs, Ian Somerville, and Brion Gysin joined them. The Paris experience was a creative and freeing one for the beats, where much writing and art took place, including Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, Harold Norse’s cut-up experiences, Ian Somerville’s and Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine, and some of Corso’s greatest poetry.

In the film, Chapman’s photographs and stylized dramatic recreations of his stories meld with the recollections of Elliot Rudie, a Scottish artist, whose drawings of his time in the hotel offer a poignant and sometimes humorous counterpoint. The memories of Chapman and Rudie interweave with the insights of French artist Jean-Jacques Lebel, author Barry Miles, Danish filmmaker Lars Movin, and the first hand accounts of Oliver Harris, Regina Weinrich, Patrick Amie, Eddie Woods, and 95 year old George Whitman, among others, to evoke a portrait of Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso and the oddities of the Beat Hotel that is at once unexpected and revealing.

All contributions will go to Documentary Arts and are tax-deductible.

Infernal Drums!

Infernal Drums, by Anthony Wright, is now on sale! It’s the must-read book I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the first printed title of my new small press, Moon Willow Press.

Please help spread the word on this book. I honestly believe this title will find a good following for those who love offbeat, literary, or road novels (for it is all three).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2011

Port Moody, BC, April 30, 2011: Moon Willow Press announces a new literary road novel, Infernal Drums, by author Anthony Wright.

Anthony Wright, also author of the short story collection Smoke Ghosts & Other Outré Tales, presents powerful storytelling with a sense of compassion for people, the environment, and indigenous customs and beliefs. His perceptive description of native peoples, places, and beliefs mingles with modern-day explorers and flirts with magical realism. Wright has been compared to Burroughs, Bowles, Dostoyevsky, Kerouac, and even to some degree Joyce as he searches out the sacred and profane of contemporary society.

Infernal Drums explores the spiritual awakening of protagonist Jonah Everman, who regards himself as a writer who drifts, but is really a drifter who writes. Journeying to Mexico, he runs afoul of the law and pays out big to avoid jail. He then heads to the capital where he finds a few kindred spirits, newspaper work, and trouble in spades. Forging an unholy alliance with occult forces, Jonah’s moral destruction seems assured. Or is it?

Infernal Drums takes the reader on a guided tour into the festering underworld of the drug war torn Mexico recent headlines have taught us all to fear.  Anthony Wright knows his way around this seedy battlefield.

-William Hjortsberg, author/screenwriter of Falling Angel (Angel Heart) and Legend

About the Author and Press

Anthony Wright was born in Melbourne, Australia, graduated in film production at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and traveled through 20 countries before settling in Mexico City in 1993. He lived and worked as a journalist before returning to Melbourne in 2001, where he completed an education diploma at the University of Melbourne and began work as a teacher. He returned to Mexico City in 2008. His fiction, journalism, poetry and photography have been published in Australia, China, England, Mexico and the United States.

Moon Willow Press is a new small press in Port Moody, British Columbia, working to give back to the environment in order to offset materials used in publishing. Publisher Mary Woodbury has signed the Book Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing and is a member of  Green Press Initiative.  MWP prints only on post-consumer and FSC-certified fiber and donates a portion of her profits to Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read. Eco-Libris works with tree-planting partners in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Panama, and Malawi.

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Book Information:

http://www.moonwillowpress.com/category/titles/infernal-drums/

Category: Fiction
Release Date: April 30, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9813924-3-1
Paperback Price: $18.95 CND + shipping
E-book: $5.99
Book info: Trade paperback, 276 pp.
Distribution: Shipped to buyer; Kindle edition available soon
Environmental savings: 2 fully grown trees; 1,114 gallons of water; 68 pounds of solid waste; and 231 pounds of greenhouse gases were saved per book, as MWP printed on chlorine free paper made with 100% post-consumer waste (except for the cover, printed on FSC-certified paper)

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Media contacts
Mary Woodbury, Publisher
Moon Willow Press
editor@moonwillowpress.com

Anthony Wright, Author
mailto:awrightgrant@yahoo.com

Synopsis (Contains Spoilers)

Infernal Drums begins with the protagonist, Jonah Everman, postulating on the miseries of incarceration. Jonah, native of an unnamed Western land, journeys to Mexico on the New Year, 1996. He regards himself as a writer who drifts, but is essentially a drifter who writes.  He runs afoul of the law on the Pacific coastcourtesy of a drugs bust. Paying his way out of trouble, Jonah heads to Mexico City where he meets a seedy Australian adventurer, Bazza Torsvan—an ex-teacher who chose exile to avoid the legal fallout after hitting a student during a schoolyard dust-up. Bazza struggles to transcend an existence that does not correspond to his illusions.

Jonah’s need to make money becomes urgent, and Bazza, working as a finance journalist, helps land him a job on The Mexican Standard—an English language newspaper staffed by an international crew of flotsam and jetsam. The editor, Mal Barbarya one-eyed despot roundly hated by all (and who nurses a dark secret)systematically torments the new recruit. Jonah next becomes drawn to Robinson Crovesa young American ne’er-do-well, the son of a diplomat and an adept of the occult. After Bazza leaves to pursue his vanishing act in the islands off Honduras, Jonah and Robinson feed off each other’s angst. The pair finds a target for their pain: Mal Barbary—and invoke a death curse utilizing a mix of Mexican witchcraft and Haitian voodoo.

Robinson enlists the aid of Nimbo Cienfuegos—a radical academic linked to a shadowy rebel group—to help stage the final phase of the curse. Meanwhile, a deranged stranger known as ‘the Spook’ courts Nimbo.  It is a dangerous seduction: Soon Nimbo develops an agenda of his own.

Increasingly desiring to abandon the city, Jonah’s innate fatalismand a beautiful Mexican journalist, Estefania Lujanstay his hand. The curse, once embarked upon, transmutes into an assassination attempt on The Standard’s publisher, dooming the main players and leaving innocent victims in its bullet-spattered wake. Sentenced to virtual life in prison, Jonah attains an ironic epiphany on the cusp of the new millennium.

—Anthony Wright, 2011

Passing away of Ira Cohen

I just heard news from Michael Rothenberg that Ira Cohen passed away today, April 25, 2011. Edit: there’s more news here.

A tribute is up at Big Bridge.

My sympathies go out to Michael Rothenberg, a good friend of Ira’s, as well as to Ira’s other friends and family.

I worked with Ira years ago on his art gallery at Big Bridge, and he also granted permissions for me to republish Gregory Corso’s Way Out: A Poem in Discord at Jack Magazine. I remember speaking with him on the phone a couple times, and I’m sure he thought I was naive and backward.

More on Ira here.

100 Thousand Poets for Change

There is a permanent link at the top of the blog, but I thought people might miss it, so wanted to include a sticky post here for a while so that you, as a poet, artist, musician, author, or anyone interested, can join in.

Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion have launched this world-wide event to take place September 24, 2011 between 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. The idea is for 100 thousand poets to simultaneously get together across the world doing something in their own cities that will uniquely effect change in their local habitats as well as be a great, big ‘ol celebration of the arts.

If you’re in Vancouver, BC and want to get involved, please contact me and visit our blog set up for trying to find event organizers. For more information, visit Rothenberg’s Facebook page. I’m also helping him set up a blog, and will post when it’s ready.

Infernal Drums, a new must-read novel

Hey everyone, my new small press, Moon Willow Press, is publishing its first print title, Infernal Drums, by Anthony Wright, at the end of April. I have no doubt I’ll remind everyone again when the book ships (around April 21st) and will be ready for order.

Infernal Drums is the most exciting book I’ve read for some time, and I am not being biased here. I have been extremely lucky to have gotten to know author Anthony Wright, an Australian native who now lives in Mexico with his great & lovely wife and children. Anthony seems to have lived that sort of exciting life that I can only dream of or read about. I’m really honored that Anthony chose MWP to publish with; his writing is literary, fun, and reminiscent of some classic road and travel fiction I believe we’re all familiar with.

His previous e-book collection of short stories, Smoke Ghosts & Other Outré Tales, is testament to Anthony’s travel and life experiences, humor, and compassionate nature for people and the environment. Ordering  info and a downloadable sample is available here.

“In an extremely imaginative and well-written collection of vignettes from travels to adventurous non-tourist destinations, Australian Anthony Wright has invoked Burroughs, Bowles, Dostoyevsky, Kerouac, and even to some degree Joyce as he searches out the sacred and profane of contemporary society.”

-Tom Hibbard, poet and author

Infernal Drums is Anthony’s first fictional novel, set in Mexico during the 1990s, that explores the occult, along with the spiritual awakening of protagonist Jonah Burns, a writer and romantic. Infernal Drums is an edgy, offbeat, literary road novel that transmutes into a genre-splitting odyssey.

Infernal Drums takes the reader on a guided tour into the festering underworld of the drugwar-torn Mexico recent headlines have taught us all to fear.  Anthony Wright knows his way around this seedy battlefield.

-William Hjortsberg, author/screenwriter of Falling Angel (Angel Heart) and Legend

Moon Willow Press is a new small press in Port Moody, British Columbia and works to give back to the environment in order to offset materials used in publishing. The publisher has signed the Book Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing and is a member of  Green Press Initiative.  MWP prints only post-consumer and FSC-certified fiber, contracts with printers using totally chlorine-free print processes, and donates a portion of profits to Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read and other non-profits working to preserve and restore forests around the world.

The Whole Shot: Collected Interviews With Gregory Corso

Rick Schober of  Vox Redux Press is putting together a book slated for publication later this year that will have eight out-of-print and lengthy interviews with Gregory Corso, along with other interviews, including:

  • “Interview with Gregory Corso” by Michael Andre, Unmuzzled Ox (1973)
  • “I’m Poor Simple Human Bones: An Interview with Gregory Corso” by Robert King, The Beat Diary (1977)
  • The Riverside Interviews 3: Gregory Corso by Gavin Selerie (1982)
  • “Humor the Butcher: Interview with Gregory Corso” by Victor Brockis, The Drummer (1973)
  • “Interview with Gregory Corso” by Douglas Calhoun, Athanor (1973)
  • Transcript of Corso’s appearances in the documentary film What Happened to Kerouac? by Richard Lerner and Lewis MacAdams (1986)

For more information, check out Kickstarter.com, the book project page, where you can also pledge to support the book. Rick has the support of author Bill Morgan, Ginsberg’s estate, and film producer Richard Lerner, among others.