Thursday, 30 May 2013


The UK Jack Kerouac Convention takes place on the 6th and 7th July 2013

The full weekend is available for the amazing price of only £ 25. This ticket buys you

  • Admission to all presentations
  • Admission to all discussions/ groups
  • A ticket for the play reading BEAT SURRENDER
  • Admission to the Saturday evening - Beat 'Happening' - poetry / music/ dance
  • Admission to every session - over 17 hours of entertainment
  • Free Parking for the weekend

Tickets are limited and available on a first come first served basis. If you can not make the full weekend there are tickets available for just Saturday or Sunday for £15 per day.

You can book your tickets through Rotherham Civic Theatre who have very kindly agreed to handle ticket sales for the conference. Click the link below and go to the section on the left hand side entitled - book tickets

or telephone the Box Office on 01709 823621

See you there

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


‘Heath Common is what Jack Kerouac would have sounded like if he came from Manchester’ Congleton Chronicle

We are delighted to confirm that Heath Common and the Thin Man have agreed to play both the Saturday and the Sunday at the convention. More details below


Heath Common is a songwriter, poet and performance-artist from northern England.

Heath Common began his musical career playing in New York City with Robert Lockwood and Johnny Shines – the stepson and close friend, respectively, of the legendary blues musician, Robert Johnson. Following this, Heath Common worked with – and was greatly influenced by – many major figures in the New York ‘Art Rock’ scene of the 1980s and early 1990s. Subsequently, Heath Common formed a duo with the Thin Man before both men went on to work with a diverse number of musicians ranging from the guitarist John Fahey to the British indie act, The Rhythm Sisters. Heath Common continues to work closely with many of the surviving figures from the Beat Movement and he is a published poet.
Heath Common is currently working with The Thin Man who is a songwriter, performer, artist and writer living in Sheffield, UK. The Thin Man formed a long-standing songwriting and performing partnership with Heath Common some years ago when both men were writing under auspices of the legendary music publisher, Charlie Gillett (mentor to Dire Straits, Elvis Costello & Ian Drury amongst many others). Subsequently, The Thin Man performed and recorded with many different people ranging from Fat Boy Slim to the Yorkshire guitar-genius, Bill Nelson.

Friday, 17 May 2013


Nic Saunders

Following a theatrical collaboration with poet Michael McClure in 2006, 14167 Films have to date produced three films based respectively on the work of McClure, Allen Ginsberg and most recently William S Burroughs. Using the original Beat source material as a starting point, the films have played at film festivals worldwide and won awards at several.

Barry Miles called their work "evocative and stimulating".  Screening as part of the 2013 Jack Kerouac conference are "At Apollinaires Grave", based on the work of Ginsberg and partially shot on location at the real Beat Hotel in Paris, and receiving its first screening in the UK, "One Night at The Aristo", based on a short story by William S Burroughs.

Simon Warner is a lecturer, writer and broadcaster on popular music issues and with a particular interest in the Beat Generation. A former journalist - he was a live reviewer for The Guardian in the early 1990s - he published Rockspeak: The Language of Rock and Pop in 1996, and edited the collections Howl for Now, a study of Allen Ginsberg's ground-breaking poem, in 2005, and Summer of Love: The Beatles, Art and Culture in the Sixties in 2008. His latest book, Text and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll, which considers the links between the Beat writers and subsequent rock culture, appeared through Bloomsbury in Spring 2013. He makes frequent contributions to the BBC and wrote and presented the 2010 radio documentary on the jazz poet Michael Horovitz. His obituaries of key members of the American counterculture have appeared in The Guardian and The Independent. Currently he is working on New York, New Wave, a title that will consider the rise of punk in Manhattan in the 1970s.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


We had hoped to have Carolyn Cassady at the weekend event but she is unable to travel at the moment. So - in true beat tradition we are taking a camera and going on the road to meet with her in two weeks time to film her welcoming people to the convention and recording an exclusive interview to be shown on the Saturday as one of the true highlights of this spectacular weekend.
If you have a question you would like to put to Carolyn then please email or tweet it at @kerouacbeats 

Carolyn Cassady was a central figure of The Beat Generation. In fact, given that her husband, Neal Cassady, came to San Francisco because of Carolyn, it's easy to make the case that there indeed never would have been a Beat Generation without Carolyn.
Carolyn was an artist and costume designer as well as a wife, mother and homemaker. And, of course, she's most well known as the wife of Neal and friend of Jack, Allen and the rest. The story she tells in her book, Off The Road, is compelling because, in a very real sense, much of the 1950s and 1960s took place in the living room of her home in Northern California.
On April 28th, we celebrate Carolyn's birthday. Carolyn has been living in England for many years now, and she will have a chance to read your tributes to her on this webpage in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 7 April 2013


We are delighted to announce that there will be an exclusive prepared reading presentation of the Kerouac inspired play, Beat Surrender, on the Saturday night of the convention.

As part of the 'Saturday Night Happening' the audience will be treated to a play that captures the spirit of Jack Kerouac.

Here are the details from when the play was originally staged in 2010
A PLAY about Jack Kerouac, the leading chronicler of the Beat generation, is being staged at the Royal Northern College of Music from May 27-29.
In “Beat Surrender”, a drama-fantasy, American Kerouac has arrived in fifties London hoping to escape his fame.
The writer meets bride-to-be Maggie and it becomes an important weekend in Kerouac’s life, full of high drama.
“The night in the play is a pause or a beat of his heart when decisions are to be made,” said Brian M Clarke one of the play’s writers.
The big question people might want to know is whether Kerouac really came to London?
“He disappeared for a while and did some travelling. Our play uses a gap in his diary and builds from there,” said Brian.
The writers Brian M Clarke and Tom Elliot are fascinated with Kerouac to the point Tom reads his books a dozen times.
Although they admit summing up Jack Kerouac is not so easy for someone who was a walking contradiction.
Java Bere, who plays Maggie, said it was good having Kerouac’s books as resources.
Java said: “They helped me access Kerouac’s character and all the qualities that would fascinate and intrigue Maggie.”
Helen Parry, the play’s director, said the biggest challenge is faced by the actor who plays someone of whom the audience has preconceptions.
Yet she has a good feeling about the play.
She said: “We are so looking forward to bringing it to life and re-connecting people to the work of Kerouac and the Beat poets.”

Here are the original cast


Friday, 5 April 2013


Here are the details of how to come along to the 2013 UK Jack Kerouac Convention.

You can book your tickets at

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ? Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac is the iconic writer of the definitive American novel, On the Road, and is known as the father of the Beat Generation.

This two day convention is a must for Kerouac fans bringing together special guests, presentations, displays and entertainment in appreciation of his life and work.

Included in the package is a special tribute evening that features a performance of the festival heading Kerouac play, Beat Surrender,  together with a full blown Beat evening of poetry music and entertainment. Dust off that beret and make sure you don't miss out on this international event - right here in Yorkshire.

The event is taking place at the spacious and modern New York Stadium ( home of Rotherham United) - we think Jack would approve.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to research into Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which is the number one genetic killer of babies.

Check out the latest news for the event on Twitter @kerouacbeats  email

 Saturday 6th July   - All Day Event - NEW YORK STADIUM   10.00 a.m. - 17:30 p.m. PLUS Evening Beat celebration and performance of BEAT SURRENDER 19:00 - late

Sunday 7th July     - All Day Event  - NEW YORK STADIUM    11.00 a.m  -  17.00 pm

"On soft Spring nights I'll stand in the yard under the stars - Something good will come out of all things yet - And it will be golden and eternal just like that - There's no need to say another word." - Jack Kerouac, Big Sur