Donald Allen, the late great editor of the Evergreen Review at Grove Press and editor of the seminal anthology The New American Poetry, first met Jack Kerouac in 1956 when he and Allen Ginsberg came to visit at his West Village apartment. At the time, Allen was working on the "San Francisco Scene" issue of the Evergreen Review, and Ginsberg and Kerouac brought him manuscripts and news of developments on the West Coast.
Over the next three years, Kerouac would send Allen poems for various projects, along with letters in which he discussed his poetry, his life, and the work of his young contemporaries. The unpublished poems are collected here, as are the letters, a comic strip drawn for the Cassady children, and Kerouac's self-penned poetic biography.
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Cody, Pomes All Sizes (City Lights), Scattered Poems (City Lights), and Scripture of the Golden Eternity (City Lights).