Beat Generation and Beyond Conference

September 29, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Fourth Annual Beat Generation & Beyond Conference, presented by John Natsoulas Center For The Arts, offers a rare opportunity to meet world-renowned poets, artists, filmmakers, and performers of the Beat Generation. The Beats’ rebellious spirit, a bent for collaboration, and their wildly creative vision changed the culture of 20th century America. That vision continues to inspire today’s artists.

This year’s conference headliner Amiri Baraka was known during his Beat period as LeRoi Jones. He lived in New York’s Greenwich Village and Lower East Side where he published several important little magazines and hung out with other bohemian writers like Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, and Gilbert Sorrentino. Baraka, a foremost African/American poet, will perform, reading from his work.

Noted Bay Area author Gerald Nicosia will discuss the writing of his biography of Jack Kerouac, "Memory Babe," and internationally known David Amram, who collaborated with Jack Kerouac and other writers on the film Pull My Daisy will show the film and perform a special musical dedication to Kerouac. Amram also wrote the score for the film. Noted poet David Meltzer, author of numerous books and editor of several anthologies, will share the stage with Amram, reading from the work.

Bay Area filmmakers, Mary Kerr and Christopher Felver, will present their films: Kerr, whose earlier film, "The Beach," a film of San Francisco’s North Beach in the 1950s, won critical acclaim, will show excerpts from her new film, "Swinging in the Shadows," focusing on Beat artists in Venice and in San Francsico. Poet David Meltzer, who knew many of the characters in Kerr’s film, will participate. Felver will show four of his better-known films, including "The Coney Island of Ferlinghetti".

The Beat art scene will be remembered through an art panel discussion featuring artist David Simpson and Jim Newman, co-founder of two famous Beat galleries, the Snydell Studio (1955) in Los Angeles and, in 1956, the Dilexi Gallery in San Francisco. Assemblage Beat artist and Getty Fellow George Herms will moderate. Herms, a three-time participant in the Beat Generation & Beyond Conference will perform one of his original pieces written specifically for this event.

Friday night, University of California’s Technocultural Studies Program will present an evening of sonic arts, visual extravaganza and technological mayhem featuring Vicki Bennett/People Like US and Semiconductor.

"Total art performance…sponsored by and for people interested in art, music, poetry, integrity and other worthwhile things."
~Herb Caen, San Francisco Chronicle