Jack Kerouac's 92nd Birthday Celebration (2014)

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac is planning a series of events on March 7th, 8th, and 9th to celebrate the 92nd Birthday of Jack Kerouac. Two of our events this year are being hosted by the Arts League of Lowell at the ALL Gallery, and by the Zeitgeist Gallery. Here's the full schedule:

Friday, March 7

Friday, March 7. 6:00-9:00pm. A “Happy Birthday Jack” evening at the Zeitgeist Gallery at 167 Market Street. An informal evening of sharing in which those attending are invited to bring their favorite Kerouac passage, or a Kerouac-inspired writing of their own. [Five minute limit per person.] And they’ll be a birthday cake for Jack!

This event is taking place in conjunction with the Zeitgeist Exhibit You Don’t Know Jack which runs from March 1 through March 23. Zeitgeist describes it as “An examination of two American icons, JFK and Jack Kerouac. This two part exhibit will include an on-site wall collage open to all participants to add to, and a show of 2D and 3D work featuring words, images, and setting relating to either of these seminal figures of American culture.”

Saturday, March 8

9:45 a.m. A Kerouac Tour of Lowell High School. Led by Roger Brunelle. This is a very important site in Kerouac’s early journey, with numerous references to it in The Town and the City, Maggie Cassidy, and Vanity of Duluoz.

1:30 p.m. The Millennial Generation Meets the Beat Generation: a panel discussion with writer Jay Atkinson and students from his "Jack Kerouac and the Beats" course at Boston University. This presentation grew out of an opinion piece Jay wrote for The Boston Globe last December (2013) entitled “The Eternal Jack Kerouac." The essay, and the panel discussion, are focused on the enduring appeal of Kerouac and his work among a new generation of readers. Mr. Atkinson is the author of seven books, including Paradise Road: Jack Kerouac’s Lost Highway and My Search for America (Wiley 2010). Joining the conversation will be noted composer, musician and author, David Amram. Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center Auditorium. 246 Market Street.

4:00—8:00 pm. Reception at the ALL Gallery for the “Travels Off the Beaten Track” Exhibit. This Exhibit is for artists who seek to capture on canvas—or through some other medium—the vagabond seeking and questing spirit of Jack Kerouac. Music and commentary by David Amram and Friends from 5:00 to 6:30. Finger food provided. The ALL Gallery is located at 307 Market Street.

8:30pm-???? Jamming at the Athenian Corner. David Amram will join the fine House Band at Lowell’s Athenian Corner for an evening of Greek music and good food! A great way to close out a Kerouac Birthday! The Athenian Corner is located at 207 Market Street.

Sunday, March 9

Noon—3:00 pm. An “After Party” Wind Down--Or Wrap Up--at the Zeitgeist. Returning to where the weekend started, this will be drop-in get together to talk Jack, view the Exhibit, share ideas for future Kerouac events—and generally hang out. Cider provided, along with any cake that may still be left.

7:00pm-???. Steve Dalachinsky and Yuko Otomo. NYC Poets Steve Dalachinsky and Yuko Otomo perform with local poets and musicians at 119 Gallery, 119 Chelmsford Street.

Thursday, March 13:

SPECIAL POST-BIRTHDAY EVENT ON MARCH 13TH!

7:00 p.m. Lowell Telecommunications (LTC) Meeting Room and Gallery Opposite the LNHP Visitor Center at 246 Market Street.

Book Presentation and Discussion of a Recently Released Kerouac Novella: The Haunted Life, with Professor Todd Tietchen.

Dr. Todd Tietchen is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and teaches courses on Jack Kerouac and Beat Studies. He is the Editor of Kerouac’s latest posthumously published work, The Haunted Life. Kerouac wrote this novella in 1944. With the central character named Peter Martin, and set in a fictionalized version of Lowell, The Haunted Life anticipates Kerouac’s first published novel, The Town and the City.

Copies will be available for purchase and signing by Todd.

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