We were lost in Vienna. We should have read the email closer, not just starred for later. We should have prepared for the chance that we might not be able to access wifi. But we didn’t.
And that’s how we were sent from one side of Vienna to the other, and back again all before 11:30am. We were almost on time! But we were there in Vienna, together again. Margaret and I. (Vera came too, but she arrived later!) And with a dream that overlapped in the most beautiful of ways.
Margaret and I met at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics the summer of 2015. We had not seen each other since that summer, but boy was it magical. More than enough to bring us together again for the European Beat Studies Conference in the fall of 2018.
The dream we both share, and the one that felt so real when we were together in Colorado, is where we live the life of Beat Studies scholars. It brought us together that summer in 2015, and it brought us together again. We spent October 4th – 6th, 2018 in a haze of delirium: dreams, thoughts, reality swirling into one as we took copious notes on the Beat Generation.
[The Beat Generation: American social and literary movement originating in the 1950s and centred in the bohemian artist communities of San Francisco’s North Beach, Los Angeles’ Venice West, and New York City’s Greenwich Village.]
We listened to lectures on Lew Welch, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and a lot of Burroughs. We discovered poets we’d never heard of before, important magazines we never knew existed, and ideas we never thought to contemplate. The conference took place at Kunstlerhaus 1050, a gorgeous warehouse space with a mesmerizing view of Vienna. We felt like the Beats, trying to “reach a higher plane above the superficial world.”
The European Beat Studies was the meeting of a community of those inspired by the Beat ethos. It brought together wonderful, supportive, and invigorating people. Now everything feels like a possibility.
I’ll be posting these blog posts over the next few weeks, so watch out if you’re interested 🙂
- Five Female Poets I Never Knew Existed
- Five Male Poets I Never Knew Existed
- Five Ideas I Never Thought to Contemplate
- Five Important Magazines I Never Knew Existed
- Five Books I Want to Read After EBSN2018
PS. I may not have mentioned, but I presented at the conference! My name is on the program – showing my documentary “How Howl Became History”. Gosh, it was a magical experience and I feel so inspired and supported by the Beat Studies community.