Jack Kerouac Shlepped Here

The fiftieth anniversary year of On the Road, Jack Kerouac's classic, is officially over — but Jack is back. From 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, the Denver Public Library's fabulous Fresh City Life program will host the inaugural session of Stories That Could Be True, a new citywide "reading club" focusing on fictive writings that hint at the possibility they may be based on actual events. First up: On the Road — and leading the way will be sociologist (and now Fresh City Lifer) Audrey Sprenger, who's stopping in the middle of a coast-to-coast Kerouac class to offer an introductory lecture on the novel.

Her talk starts at the west entrance of the Central Public Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, but from there it moves out of the book and off to some of the places where Kerouac lived and worked in the '40s, places he later incorporated into his story. "Be sure to dress warmly, wear good boots and bring along a pen to turn your copy of On The Road into a literal and literary map of the railyard neighborhoods of Denver's lower downtown, Curtis Park and Five Points districts," Sprenger says.

And the exploration doesn't end there. Sprenger and David Amram, Kerouac's first musical collaborator, will offer a seven-day reading guide to On the Road that will start on January 7 at westword.com. Amram will be back in town to head "I Speak Out," a scat, rap and spoken-word concert on February 23, and to join Sprenger the next day at a program titled "Celebrating On the Road's 50th Year in Words and Music." For more details, go to www.audreysprenger.com.
Tue., Jan. 8, 2008

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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