Researching, writing and teaching about the Beat Generation movement

The Beat Generation Symposium - The Beat Studies Association

Friday, October 10 – Saturday, October 11, 2008

Columbia College Chicago
Film Row Cinema
1104 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605

Schedule of Events

Papers of The Beat Generation Symposium

Please join us for a conference devoted to the literary and cultural legacy of the Beat Generation: “The Beat Generation Symposium,” co-sponsored by the Beat Studies Association, the Columbia College Chicago English Department and Provost’s Office, Columbia College’s Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, and the Illinois State University Department of English and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Friday, October 10, and Saturday, October 11, 2008
Columbia College Chicago
Film Row Cinema
1104 South Wabash Avenue, 8th floor

This is an academic Beat Studies conference to be held in conjunction with the Columbia College’s Center for the Book and Paper Arts’s Fall 2008 display of the Jack Kerouac ON THE ROAD manuscript scroll. The Beat Generation Symposium features panel discussions each day, with poetry readings by Joanne Kyger (October 10) and Michael McClure (October 11). The readings are free and open to the public. We regret that Diane di Prima had to cancel her appearance, but are pleased to announce that Michael McClure will now be the featured poet on Saturday, October 11.

JOANNE KYGER, a native California writer, is the author of over 20 books of poetry. She is known for her ties to the poets of Black Mountain College, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the Beat Generation. Her most recent books are About Now: Collected Poems, 1957-2004 (National Poetry Foundation, 2007) and Not Veracruz (Libellum Press, 2007). She taught for many years at Naropa University’s poetics program, and The New College of San Francisco. She lives on the coast north of San Francisco.

One of the core group of Beat poets who gained fame in 1950s San Francisco, MICHAEL MCCLURE is also a playwright, journalist and memoirist. His life and writing reveal a deep interest in nature, ecology, and consciousness. McClure continues to live and work in San Francisco where he is more active than ever, writing and performing his poetry at festivals, as well as colleges and clubs across the country. Most recently McClure joined with composer Terry Riley to create a CD titled I Like Your Eyes Liberty. Recent books include Huge Dreams: San Francisco and Beat Poems, Rain Mirror, and Touching the Edge.

Panelists include John Bryant, Peter Cook, Terrance Diggory, Jane Falk, Amy Friedman, Deborah R. Geis, Nancy M. Grace, Tim Hunt, Rob Johnson, Ronna Johnson, Hassan Melehy, Timothy Murphy, Jennie Skerl, Matt Theado, Tony Trigilio, and more.

The weekend of the symposium, there will be a related offsite reading by Michael Rothenberg (Unhurried Vision) and David Meltzer (David’s Copy) sponsored by Myopic Books and the Poetry Center of Chicago. Sunday, October 12, 7:00 p.m. Myopic Books, 1564 N Milwaukee Ave, in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.


Free for Columbia College faculty, staff, and students with valid IDs. Evening poetry readings are free and open to the public.

Conference fees: $100 ($50 for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty).

To register by credit card, call the Columbia Ticket Office at (312) 344-6600, or register online at:

To register by mail, download this registration form.