CITY LIGHTS AT 60: Women of the Beat Generation
Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 7 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, CA
An evening of readings and discussion about the accomplishments and influence of the Women Beats. Often overshadowed by the their male counterparts, the women artists and poets of the BEAT Generation created significant contributions to not only the counterculture of their time but to the larger cannon of art and letters. With the recent exhbition of Jay Defao's work, we have seen a resurgence in interest in their work.
This evening of women Beat poets will reverberate with the howls, raps and roars of ruth weiss and Joanna McClure, poets and peers of Ginsberg and Kerouac. Hosted by Brenda Knight, author of the American Book Award-winning Women of the Beat Generation, this special evening will highlight and celebrate the lives and work of these female iconoclasts.
McClure, with her then-husband Michael, was at the very epicenter of the scene from the Six Gallery reading to spending time with Beat progenitors Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen and W.H. Auden as well as artist Jay Defeo and the Digger poet activists Peter Coyote, Lenore Kandel and Janine Pommy Vega. Joanna will read from her new collection.
Jazz innovator ruth weiss escaped Nazi Germany with her family in 1939 on the last train allowed across the Austrian border. She and her parents are the only the only members of her family to survive the Holocaust. ruth wrote her first poem at five and has not stopped since. Her work is shot through with the history of the Beat Generation and a stark and starting originality. Kerouac envied her Haiku and Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman says of ruth, "No American poet has remained so faithful to jazz in the construction of poetry as ruth weiss. Her poems are score to be sounded with all her riffy ellipses. Others read TO jazz or write from jazz, ruth weiss writes jazz in words."