And the Beat Goes On

“The Kerouac School is not a lineage with a program, but a program with a lineage,” says Lisa Birman, director of the Summer Writing Program presented by the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. Co-founded by the late Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the program is now close to thirty years old — but it’s evolving all the time. “This is my tenth summer working on the program,” explains Birman (who was a student in the program for two years before that), “and over the last ten years, it’s been a trend in contemporary literature — and very happily here — that there’s less of a ‘this is a poetry class, this is a prose class’ division. It’s much more of a hybrid environment, a fermenting, cross-genre environment…. We’re finding new ways to use the inspiration of the Beats — revolutionaries of their time — and bringing it into what it means to be a revolutionary in 2010.”

Even if you can’t sign up for one of the four, week-long sessions that start today with “Poet or Assassin?” (Waldman will chair the opening panel at 1 p.m.), you can experience the revolution during one of the regular evening readings in the Naropa Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Street in Boulder, which are open to the public and free for the first time this summer. The inaugural reading, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, features faculty members Thalia Field, Ross Gay, Joanne Kyger, Linh Dinh and Bobbie Louise Hawkins.

For a complete schedule, go to or call 303-245-4665
June 14-July 11, 2010

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun