Hot Best Seller

Women of the Beat Generation: The Writers, Artists and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution

Availability: Ready to download

The Beat Generation created an American revolution in literature and culture that transformed the mid-twentieth century. The Beats helped make literature a democracy. All one needed, they believed, was passion and a love of the written word. The names of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and William Burroughs and their friends are well known to the reading public The Beat Generation created an American revolution in literature and culture that transformed the mid-twentieth century. The Beats helped make literature a democracy. All one needed, they believed, was passion and a love of the written word. The names of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and William Burroughs and their friends are well known to the reading public at large, and on its face the beat movement appears to have been an exclusively male phenomenon. But the Beat movement's publicity did not necessarily reflect the reality of its literature and spirit. This singular book is devoted to contributions of women to the body and spirit of the Beat revolution. The women included in this anthology run the gamut from the famous---Carolyn Cassady and Jan Kerouac-to the relatively undiscovered-Mary Fabilli and Helen Adam. The art, prose, and poetry selected represent the full range and development of their work. The women whose work is featured in this anthology were talented rebels with enough courage and creative spirit to turn their backs on "the good life" that the fifties promised and forge their way to San Francisco and Greenwich Village. They dared to attempt to create lives of their own and make their own way. Today an unprecedented amount of brilliant, imaginative and highly experimental writing by women is being recognized and applauded. This anthology looks back to the antecedents for this greater liberty of expression. It is a testament to the lives of the women who helped shape the Beat era. Together, their voices form an energetic force field of consciousness that manifested at a rich and difficult time in cultural history. Women of the Beat Generation profiles 40 women --Precursors, Muses Writers, and Artists-including Elise Cowen, Diane di Prima, Hettie Jones, Joan Vollmer Burroughs, Jan Kerouac, Jane Bowles, Carolyn Cassady, Edie Parker Kerouac Eileen Kaufman, Joyce Johnson, Denise Levertov, Brenda Frazer, Anne Waldman, Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, and many others Women of the Beat Generation highlights the lives and work of these female iconoclasts, and ensures the world will not forget their contributions to its transformation.


Compare

The Beat Generation created an American revolution in literature and culture that transformed the mid-twentieth century. The Beats helped make literature a democracy. All one needed, they believed, was passion and a love of the written word. The names of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and William Burroughs and their friends are well known to the reading public The Beat Generation created an American revolution in literature and culture that transformed the mid-twentieth century. The Beats helped make literature a democracy. All one needed, they believed, was passion and a love of the written word. The names of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and William Burroughs and their friends are well known to the reading public at large, and on its face the beat movement appears to have been an exclusively male phenomenon. But the Beat movement's publicity did not necessarily reflect the reality of its literature and spirit. This singular book is devoted to contributions of women to the body and spirit of the Beat revolution. The women included in this anthology run the gamut from the famous---Carolyn Cassady and Jan Kerouac-to the relatively undiscovered-Mary Fabilli and Helen Adam. The art, prose, and poetry selected represent the full range and development of their work. The women whose work is featured in this anthology were talented rebels with enough courage and creative spirit to turn their backs on "the good life" that the fifties promised and forge their way to San Francisco and Greenwich Village. They dared to attempt to create lives of their own and make their own way. Today an unprecedented amount of brilliant, imaginative and highly experimental writing by women is being recognized and applauded. This anthology looks back to the antecedents for this greater liberty of expression. It is a testament to the lives of the women who helped shape the Beat era. Together, their voices form an energetic force field of consciousness that manifested at a rich and difficult time in cultural history. Women of the Beat Generation profiles 40 women --Precursors, Muses Writers, and Artists-including Elise Cowen, Diane di Prima, Hettie Jones, Joan Vollmer Burroughs, Jan Kerouac, Jane Bowles, Carolyn Cassady, Edie Parker Kerouac Eileen Kaufman, Joyce Johnson, Denise Levertov, Brenda Frazer, Anne Waldman, Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, and many others Women of the Beat Generation highlights the lives and work of these female iconoclasts, and ensures the world will not forget their contributions to its transformation.

30 review for Women of the Beat Generation: The Writers, Artists and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book was recommended to me when I worked for William Burroughs Communications. Oh, how I could relate, having been around artist junkies and wandering poets and moody, irrational alcoholic geniuses - while not seeing my female friends or myself championed as self destructive heroines. These women write about the life of US, the women who were also in those circles of creative insanity, putting up with violent, lazy, thieving, cheating men who said they loved us. Throughout history the lives This book was recommended to me when I worked for William Burroughs Communications. Oh, how I could relate, having been around artist junkies and wandering poets and moody, irrational alcoholic geniuses - while not seeing my female friends or myself championed as self destructive heroines. These women write about the life of US, the women who were also in those circles of creative insanity, putting up with violent, lazy, thieving, cheating men who said they loved us. Throughout history the lives of women in powerful movements were hidden. They paid the rent, made sure there was food, made carbon copies of their lovers' work. But they also WROTE, beautifully, from the point of view of women who love their lovers, love their friends, and love finding their strength. These women grow as they age, becoming more compassionate and more critical. After reading this, I was led to Jan Kerouac, Joyce Johnson, Diane di Prima, etc. - voices who wrote like mine, affirmed my life story. I read so much of the male Beats writing, and loved it, but didn't feel I was really in the story. Who were the women? They were us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    "who will slap my backside when i am born again?" "who will slap my backside when i am born again?"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Willa Guadalupe Grant

    This is a fabulous book about a specific time in America. I really liked it though it made me sad & so aware of mortality, mine & everyone else's. The women written about in this book were so young & beautiful & brilliant & it made me feel just how quickly our lives are over. I learned a lot about the Beats & the Beat women that I didn't know as it all happened just as I was being born. A really nifty look at the wave that preceeded the hippy era. This is a fabulous book about a specific time in America. I really liked it though it made me sad & so aware of mortality, mine & everyone else's. The women written about in this book were so young & beautiful & brilliant & it made me feel just how quickly our lives are over. I learned a lot about the Beats & the Beat women that I didn't know as it all happened just as I was being born. A really nifty look at the wave that preceeded the hippy era.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    From a social/historical perspective, this book has done something rare: focus on the women of the 50s-60s Beat era. Turns out they were just as intriguing and artistic and productively conflicted as their popular male counterparts. 'Bout time someone acknowledged this... From a social/historical perspective, this book has done something rare: focus on the women of the 50s-60s Beat era. Turns out they were just as intriguing and artistic and productively conflicted as their popular male counterparts. 'Bout time someone acknowledged this...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kerfe

    Knight chronicles female mentors, inspirations, activists, wives, and girlfriends of the more well-known Beat Generation men, as well as the women (often overlapping) who also wrote, performed, taught, and created in tandem with the men. Some of these artists were known to me, some just recently discovered: Diane di Prima, Denise Levertov, Lenore Kandel, Ann Waldman, Jay De Feo, Jess. But I was also introduced to many that I hope to investigate further: Mary Fabilli, Hettie Jones, Joanna McClure, Knight chronicles female mentors, inspirations, activists, wives, and girlfriends of the more well-known Beat Generation men, as well as the women (often overlapping) who also wrote, performed, taught, and created in tandem with the men. Some of these artists were known to me, some just recently discovered: Diane di Prima, Denise Levertov, Lenore Kandel, Ann Waldman, Jay De Feo, Jess. But I was also introduced to many that I hope to investigate further: Mary Fabilli, Hettie Jones, Joanna McClure, ruth weiss, Joan Brown, Helen Adam, Barbara Guest, Elise Cowan. The cumulative effect of these stories negates the idea that all women in the 50s were obedient "good girls". These were wild, expansive, and complicated lives. Although, as Anne Waldman points out, "The 50s were a conservative time and it was difficult for artistic bohemian women to live outside the norm. Often they were incarcerated by their families; or were driven to suicide. Many talented women perished." Yet many did not; and non-conforming men also suffered similar fates. On the other hand, Waldman does not mention the difficulties of raising children alone, or of asserting identities in the shadow of husbands/lovers/male counterparts, that Knight's stories make clear was an undercurrent to nearly all of these women's struggles. Spiritual studies (especially Buddhism) and activism played and important role in the lives of the Beats, both male and female. Many spent years studying with Zen masters. Some spent time as priests and nuns and/or inserted a radical Christian activism into their secular lives. They worked to feed and free bodies and minds, from prisons to the streets. One major criticism: Knight's continued assertion that Black Mountain College was founded by poets Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan, and based on their educational ideas, leads me to be skeptical of all of her historical facts. Even a quick look at any article about the founding of Black Mountain would show that this is not true. And the writing is sloppy at times, particularly towards the end of the book. In general, Knight also favors the San Francisco Beats over the events and creation that occurred in New York. But if you are interested in the neglected women who contributed to the legacy of Beat art, this is a good place to start your investigations. There are representative poems and other writings by the women excerpted here too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    An interesting collection that contains brief biographies of the women in the Beat scene and either writing about them, or samples of their own work. There are a lot of women covered here and the definition of "beat" seems to extend to anyone on the fringe of the San Fransisco poetry scene of the 50s and 60s. I suppose Beat has as many different meanings as Goth. I wasn't much interested in the movement for a long time as I pictured people in turtle necks and berets reciting poetry over bongos. An interesting collection that contains brief biographies of the women in the Beat scene and either writing about them, or samples of their own work. There are a lot of women covered here and the definition of "beat" seems to extend to anyone on the fringe of the San Fransisco poetry scene of the 50s and 60s. I suppose Beat has as many different meanings as Goth. I wasn't much interested in the movement for a long time as I pictured people in turtle necks and berets reciting poetry over bongos. Then I read Kerouac's novels and was blown away by the intensity, the non-conformist lives, the poverty and the tragedy and how very much it sounded like now. I think the problem with this book is the thing I love most about the Beats is the novels, I'm afraid I'm not very good at poetry appreciation, and so I didn't connect with this book as I would have liked. Still the stories of the women were amazing. I wish the writing had included more fiction and less memoirs and poetry. Perhaps the reason that the women are less famous is that they didn't write novels, and poets are never as famous as novelists. Still there were a few writers that made me want to read more by them. I wish someone could do an oral history of the Beat women, or just the beats. I fear not enough has survived and too many are dead to make this possible but I think that oral history would be such a good scheme for examining the scene. (And would make such an interesting comparison to Legs McNeil's Please Kill Me). The male beats have come under criticism for being misogynistic, which personally I don't see. I think the quote that stood out the most for me from this book was that there were plenty of women writers in the scene. But that unlike the men, they weren't published, rather they were sent to mental institutions or committed suicide, or both as in the case of Elsie Cowen, because women just weren't allowed to non-conform like men. The book is definitely a collection of literature and lives. This is both its strength and weakness. While it makes a good reference to find out whose who, and for samples of lots of different works, sometimes it just seems a bit too disjointed and disconnected. Still it was a fascinating read and one I will hold onto.

  7. 5 out of 5

    H. Hall

    Women of the Beat Generation is essential reading for anyone who is intrigued by Beat writing. Most of the material is a combination of biographical and creative work by the women who hung out with, made love to, served as muses for the male writers who have dominated Beat studies. The major exception to the Beats Women's Auxiliary Association contained in the book is Denise Levertov who is an outstanding writer independent of anyone she hung out with. There are other fine writers in the group: Women of the Beat Generation is essential reading for anyone who is intrigued by Beat writing. Most of the material is a combination of biographical and creative work by the women who hung out with, made love to, served as muses for the male writers who have dominated Beat studies. The major exception to the Beats Women's Auxiliary Association contained in the book is Denise Levertov who is an outstanding writer independent of anyone she hung out with. There are other fine writers in the group: Diane di Prima, Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones, Anne Waldman and others, but most are known primarily by association with the male writers. This is an important book for anyone interested in either Beat or Women's Studies.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    To me, this book is an encyclopedia of the women in the last biggest creative scene in America. I loved reading about the predecessors of the Beat women, especially Madeleine Gleason. I was intrigued about the "Lost Generation". I'll probably look into this scene more later on. I could relate to many of the women in this book. I saw in their stories my own story. There are lots of cool photos and even samples of the writers' works! I particularly loved reading about Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs, To me, this book is an encyclopedia of the women in the last biggest creative scene in America. I loved reading about the predecessors of the Beat women, especially Madeleine Gleason. I was intrigued about the "Lost Generation". I'll probably look into this scene more later on. I could relate to many of the women in this book. I saw in their stories my own story. There are lots of cool photos and even samples of the writers' works! I particularly loved reading about Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs, Edie Parker Kerouac, Joan Haverty Kerouac, Eileen Kaufman, Elise Cowen...I REALLY loved reading about Denise Levertov, ruth weiss (I think I saw her speak at the University of Houston one time, before I knew her), and Lenore Kandel. I really loved reading about Jay DeFeo; I could relate to her tenacity as an artist. I found Joyce Johnson really boring, but that didn't stop me from reading her books to give her a fair shot. BUT ANYWAY: this was a great book that really connected me to my heritage as a female creative entity in America. I don't think I'll ever part with this book; it's a cornerstone of my shelf :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Hagen

    Women of the Beat Generation, a compilation of short stories and poems written by women influenced by The Beat Generation. Some of the readings are by the authors themselves, while others are read by Deborah Winger. Produced by Audio Literature. These women were in the forefront of authors brave enough to write what was true for them and to live unconventional lives. Some were lesbians in lesbian relationships. One was a White woman married to a Black man which separated her from her family, and Women of the Beat Generation, a compilation of short stories and poems written by women influenced by The Beat Generation. Some of the readings are by the authors themselves, while others are read by Deborah Winger. Produced by Audio Literature. These women were in the forefront of authors brave enough to write what was true for them and to live unconventional lives. Some were lesbians in lesbian relationships. One was a White woman married to a Black man which separated her from her family, and ultimately from her husband when he became influenced by the Black Panther movement. Some women were just very “sexually liberated” before it became fashionable in the 1960’s. All of their writing was refreshing, although some of it was depressing as well. Jack Karouac’s wife, Joan, (one of his wives) and his daughter, Jan Karouac, were also good writers. With regard to his daughter at least, Jack wasn’t a wonderful guy. She only met him twice. He divorced Joan because she wouldn’t abort Jan. She met him at age nine when she was involved in a paternity test to prove she was his child, and one other time when she visited him at age 17.

  10. 5 out of 5

    steve

    This book serves as a nice, strong introduction to the Beat movement, and especially the women of the beat movement--tragic figures consumed by their artistic passions and ruined by either the men they loved (or thought they loved) or by their families that despised the idea that they did not conform to the Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best mentalities of the day. Be forewarned. The book is a collection of short biographies ranging from two to four pages long, with a small collection of th This book serves as a nice, strong introduction to the Beat movement, and especially the women of the beat movement--tragic figures consumed by their artistic passions and ruined by either the men they loved (or thought they loved) or by their families that despised the idea that they did not conform to the Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best mentalities of the day. Be forewarned. The book is a collection of short biographies ranging from two to four pages long, with a small collection of the artist's poetry or prose afterward. It took me a few days to read through this. Biography after biography after biography can get tedious. If the book has a flaw, it is the lack of writing by the actual artists the book proclaims to hold in esteem; however, at the end there is a nice bibliography of works to allow you further exploration.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This book tells of the Beat times from the perspectives of the women who a part of it, but were not as often heard-about. There were some influential woman poets, like Diane DiPrima, Denise Levertov, and Anne Waldman. They were more than groupies, but talented writers in their own right. There were many more than that, but I can't think of all of them. The book is sort of retroactive feministic in that tells the reader how women contribute to any major movement, just as men do, only in different This book tells of the Beat times from the perspectives of the women who a part of it, but were not as often heard-about. There were some influential woman poets, like Diane DiPrima, Denise Levertov, and Anne Waldman. They were more than groupies, but talented writers in their own right. There were many more than that, but I can't think of all of them. The book is sort of retroactive feministic in that tells the reader how women contribute to any major movement, just as men do, only in different ways.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charmaine E. Pooh

    Such a great collection of biographies and works of the women who comprised and inspired the Beat movement. Would highly recommend for any one who enjoys biographies, poetry, or feminist literature.

  13. 4 out of 5

    J.C.

    A very good introduction to the many women Beat writers, all of whom deserve more attention. I wish there was more here, it's like a sample pack when there's plenty of samples but the samples are very small. The very important take-away from this book, is that the Beat generation are much more complex than outsiders think, and the women writers of the era deserve just as much praise as the men, if not more so. A very good introduction to the many women Beat writers, all of whom deserve more attention. I wish there was more here, it's like a sample pack when there's plenty of samples but the samples are very small. The very important take-away from this book, is that the Beat generation are much more complex than outsiders think, and the women writers of the era deserve just as much praise as the men, if not more so.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Roybal

    This book is a delightful treasure which profiles a group of fascinating women and their writings. They are not well-known but definitely worth knowing. As predecessors of the hippies, you will find lots of sex (of many varieties), drugs (again of many varieties), and jazz (rather than rock and roll). There is also some crime (not all drug related), alternative lifestyles, and courageous people. It is also a well-researched and very coherently organized book. Here are some of the writings I liked This book is a delightful treasure which profiles a group of fascinating women and their writings. They are not well-known but definitely worth knowing. As predecessors of the hippies, you will find lots of sex (of many varieties), drugs (again of many varieties), and jazz (rather than rock and roll). There is also some crime (not all drug related), alternative lifestyles, and courageous people. It is also a well-researched and very coherently organized book. Here are some of the writings I liked. (There were many, but some would need to be printed in their entirety and are too long.) Madeline Gleason in The Poet in the Wood And having attained self-peace Was under the illusion That the world was in order And the wicked no longer in collusion. Eileen Kaufman in Who Wouldn't Walk With Tigers And so I knew at once what my life would be: Tempestuous, Adventurous, Passionate, but always new experiences. I reached out for Bob Kaufman, the man and his poetry. And he made my life a shambles. It was not as though I didn't ask for it. I knew at a glance and after one night that this man could create my life or destroy it. The life I had known was in ashes, and like the Phoenix, my new life had begun. It was to be everything I had seen in the flash of an African Dream...and more. Suddenly wise, I did not fight the dream. Hettie Jones in Words I give you my word You pocket it and keep the change Here is a word on the tip of my tongue: love I hold it close though it dreams of leaving Hettie Jones in Teddy Bears the Highway I have always been at the same time woman enough to be moved to tears and man enough to drive my car in any direction Janine Pommy Vega in February Thaw but the green shoot thrusting through the ice is strongest the wind the snow the cold can slow her, can put her down but they cannot stop her Mary Norbert Korte in There's no Such Thing as an Ex-Catholic This Planet will survive only if All recognize a Common Mission The Common Mission is Mutual Respect Anne Waldman in I Am the Guard We throw away our last ancient forest for Happy Meal boxes...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    (basically this review is all about Knight's work, not on the women - from that point of view I think it is brilliant to have an anthology with a selection of work from a generation that has been so male-defined) This book didn't gave me what I wanted from it (for an essay, for crying out loud), which always makes for the most disappointing reading, I suppose. Moreover, there were no (no!) sources, and conflicting information which I always find particularly worrisome as it makes you start to que (basically this review is all about Knight's work, not on the women - from that point of view I think it is brilliant to have an anthology with a selection of work from a generation that has been so male-defined) This book didn't gave me what I wanted from it (for an essay, for crying out loud), which always makes for the most disappointing reading, I suppose. Moreover, there were no (no!) sources, and conflicting information which I always find particularly worrisome as it makes you start to question the whole book, and even more so if you consider that this is one of the main books on the women of the Beat Generation. I did skip the primary texts which supposedly make this a more interesting book. On the whole, this might work better as a quick book of reference than as work to read from A to Z because it felt rather superficial and flimsy like that.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    It's sad that there were so many women involved with the beat poets, but they're almost never talked about. Because it talks about so many people, each section is pretty short, but overall the author does a good job of writing succinct synopses of each person and it was nice to get to read some of their writing. My complaints are that I wish the girlfriends had gotten a little less page time so that the writers and artists could have had a little more, and I thought that some of what was written It's sad that there were so many women involved with the beat poets, but they're almost never talked about. Because it talks about so many people, each section is pretty short, but overall the author does a good job of writing succinct synopses of each person and it was nice to get to read some of their writing. My complaints are that I wish the girlfriends had gotten a little less page time so that the writers and artists could have had a little more, and I thought that some of what was written about the women wasn't worth the space and could have been replaced with something a little more relevant or interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Meg Tuite

    Mesmerizing work by some great writers I didn't know about: Helen Adam, Jane Bowles (I'd read her and LOVE her), Ilse Klapper, Madeline Gleason, Josephine Miles, Joan Vollmer, Vickie Russell, Helen Hinkle, Carolyn Cassady, LuAnne Henderson, Anne Murphy, Edie Parker Kerouac, Stella Sampas, Joan Haverty Kerouac, Gabrielle Kerouac, Eileen Kaufman, and of course, Mary Fabilli, Diane di Prima, Barbara Guest and Anne Waldman. Check it out and read excerpts and poems from all these women: precursors of Mesmerizing work by some great writers I didn't know about: Helen Adam, Jane Bowles (I'd read her and LOVE her), Ilse Klapper, Madeline Gleason, Josephine Miles, Joan Vollmer, Vickie Russell, Helen Hinkle, Carolyn Cassady, LuAnne Henderson, Anne Murphy, Edie Parker Kerouac, Stella Sampas, Joan Haverty Kerouac, Gabrielle Kerouac, Eileen Kaufman, and of course, Mary Fabilli, Diane di Prima, Barbara Guest and Anne Waldman. Check it out and read excerpts and poems from all these women: precursors of and those part of the Beats. Excellent!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    I thought that this book gave the right balance between simple biographical information, stories related to capturing the spirit of the subjects, and writing samples by the subjects. I do not know if this is comprehensive, but I found my world enlarged by knowing about these wonderful female artists in an era that really still did not celebrate the feminine.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This is a book that needed to be written, but I was disappointed by its brevity. It is an introductory read, personalities condensed into encyclopedic vignettes. It is obvious that Knight was allowed more access into certain character's lives than others. This is a book that needed to be written, but I was disappointed by its brevity. It is an introductory read, personalities condensed into encyclopedic vignettes. It is obvious that Knight was allowed more access into certain character's lives than others.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    i got this for xmas and read most of it on a plane. pretty darn great and talks about something those talented, yet horribly selfish beat dudes needed but excluded--their women.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    An all around insulting and terrible book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    some very important, cool ladies behind and along side some of the gents of the beat generation.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie Schwartz

    This book was so empowering and enlightening. I've always loved beat writers. Women of the Beat inspired the hell out of me. It's an exquisite, perfect read. I devoured it. This book was so empowering and enlightening. I've always loved beat writers. Women of the Beat inspired the hell out of me. It's an exquisite, perfect read. I devoured it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie

    I am still haunted by some of the stories, and one tragic character in particular. Not a waste of time at all...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    A kind of sampler of biography and works, some previously unpublished. It's a good introduction to a lot of artists, but it's broad, not deep. A kind of sampler of biography and works, some previously unpublished. It's a good introduction to a lot of artists, but it's broad, not deep.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Glo Sollecito

    Read this ages ago and continue to go back from time to time. Best Beat book ever and I've read a lot of them Read this ages ago and continue to go back from time to time. Best Beat book ever and I've read a lot of them

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    After you've read On The Road, read about all the women that Jack and his buddies sort of ignore, being macho boys and all. After you've read On The Road, read about all the women that Jack and his buddies sort of ignore, being macho boys and all.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I think this is an important work; it highlights just how many women were involved in the Beat scene and the way that they often get left out of the official narrative of the Beat movement. It's divided into several sections: Precursors, Muses, Writers, and Artists. Each woman gets a bio and some photos and a selection of her poetry and prose if she wrote any (Joan Vollmer, for example, didn't write, and so only a letter from her to Ginsberg is included as an example of her writing). My problem i I think this is an important work; it highlights just how many women were involved in the Beat scene and the way that they often get left out of the official narrative of the Beat movement. It's divided into several sections: Precursors, Muses, Writers, and Artists. Each woman gets a bio and some photos and a selection of her poetry and prose if she wrote any (Joan Vollmer, for example, didn't write, and so only a letter from her to Ginsberg is included as an example of her writing). My problem is three-fold: First, it's like a dictionary of literary biography, so each woman gets a short entry which lacks depth. Second, some of the women in the Muses section just aren't good writers. I can see the value of hearing about what the time period was like in their own words, but it's just not good reading (Carolyn Cassady especially). Finally, I don't quite understand the rationale behind some of the poems/prose pieces chosen. I realize that accessibility may not have been driving the editor's choice, but a lot of the poems chosen leave me cold and don't make a lot of sense to me out of context (this is probably a me problem rather than a problem with the book).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madeleine

    Very interesting insight into the lifes of the females artists, trailblazers and women or the Beat generation, who often are not credited enough or at all and mostly appear as attachments to their fathers, husbands, boyfriends etc. in other writing. Some true gems in here and I really enjoyed the variety of sample writings for each artist. However, I would have enjoyed the biographies and the artwork more if there was even more focus paid to the women unrelated to the men because several women we Very interesting insight into the lifes of the females artists, trailblazers and women or the Beat generation, who often are not credited enough or at all and mostly appear as attachments to their fathers, husbands, boyfriends etc. in other writing. Some true gems in here and I really enjoyed the variety of sample writings for each artist. However, I would have enjoyed the biographies and the artwork more if there was even more focus paid to the women unrelated to the men because several women were portrayed in this collection with half their biography or sample writing being focused on one of the great male Beat writers - Jack Kerouac I`m looking at you... Super excited to follow up on some of the amazing artists I discovered through this selection and would recommend it as a starting point for anyone interested in getting more into Beat literature off of the obvious path.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Krueger

    The Beat Generation has been wildly influential on myself as a writer and individual and as I love the major figures (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso, etc.), I've always felt the women were woefully misrepresented over the years. Writers like Anne Waldman, Diane diPrima, Joanne Kyger and Janine Pommy Vega are just as good if not better than their male contemporaries. Ms. Knight did an amazing job compiling this anthology. My only complaint is there isn't more to it. The Beat Generation has been wildly influential on myself as a writer and individual and as I love the major figures (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso, etc.), I've always felt the women were woefully misrepresented over the years. Writers like Anne Waldman, Diane diPrima, Joanne Kyger and Janine Pommy Vega are just as good if not better than their male contemporaries. Ms. Knight did an amazing job compiling this anthology. My only complaint is there isn't more to it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...