It was 50 years ago today, that the travel journal charting the 1951 bohemian oddysey of the not-yet-beloved-by-free-spirits-everywhere Jack Kerouac, hit book stands dorm-room shelves, changing America's literary landscape and putting the Beat writers at the forefront of American consciousness. On The Road broke and subsequently changed the rules, it beckoned a new social era in this county if not contributing directly to it, and it mentioned our beloved cow town. And you know how we go apeshit for fixtures of popular culture that so much as acknowledge our flyover state.
But it isn't the only literary treat to be informed by, or set in, or simply of Denver. In fact, it's not even our best piece of literature. Hell, it's not even our best piece of Beat literature. Check out our interactive map of literary Denver -- featuring Alan Ginsburg's Howl, my vote for awesomest Denver mention in prose -- and explore the wonders of narrative art that lessen, ever so slightly, our collective, square-state Napoleon complex. Word(s). -- Sean Cronin
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.