Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival


"October is always a great time for me (knock on wood),
's why I always talk about it so much..."
Jack Kerouac. Desolation Angels

"Everybody goes home in October"
Jack Kerouac. On the Road

Download a poster:

Pre-LCK Festival Events at UMass Lowell

Monday, October 5

3:30 pm: Readings by Beat Poet and Author Michael McClure. Allen House. UML South Campus 61 Wilder Street.

Thursday, October 8

3:00 p.m.: Exhibit Opening: "Kerouac Retrieved--Items from the John Sampas Collection. Allen House. UML South Campus

3:30 pm: Panel Discussion--Race, Ethnicity, and the American Hipster Panelists: Jean-Christophe Cloutier, Tim Z. Hernandez, D. Quentin Miller, Keith Mitchell. Allen House. UML South Campus

Friday, October 9

3:30 pm: Jean-Christophe Cloutier--A Discussion About Working in Literary Archives. Allen House. UML South Campus

For more details go to: UMass Lowell Kerouac Center Events, Fall 2015

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

Thursday, October 8

6:00-8:00 pm: Traditional Kerouac Pubs Tour. Old Worthen, 141 Worthen St., to Ricardo’s to Ward Eight to Cappy’s Copper Kettle. Meet leaders at the Worthen.

8:30 pm: Traditional LCK Kick-off: Music-and-Readings. Cappy’s Copper Kettle, 245 Central St. Alan Crane, Colleen Nicholas, and friends, and local musicians will perform with David Amram. Hosted by John McDermott. Readers of Kerouac passages will do the interludes. Always a kick!

Friday, October 9

9:30 am: The Annual Jack Kerouac Poetry & Prose Competition. Held at Jack Kerouac’s alma mater, Lowell High School. Students will read their poems and prose entries. David Amram will share his memories of collaborating with Jack Kerouac. Note: This event is not open to the public--students and invited guests only. Lowell High School Theater, 50 Father Morissette Blvd.

2:30 pm: Talking Jack. Readings and discussion. The shop is open—come with whatever Kerouac related topic or idea you’d like to have some conversation about. UML Inn & Conference Center Lobby, 50 Warren Court. Look for the LCK group by the fireplace or on the patio, depending on the weather. Led by Kurt Phaneuf.

4:00-6:30 pm: Opening Art Reception: In My Own Words—Images from Kerouac Interviews. From the book "Safe in Heaven Dead", edited by Michael White. A solo exhibition by Barbara Gagel with black and white conceptual images in the encaustic medium. Using the early 1930s Underwood typeface Barbara evokes Kerouac’s meaning and mood, "tossing words into the void." Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle Street.

8:00 pm: Kerouac and Jazz. A chronological musical presentation of Kerouac’s favorite jazz compositions performed by musicians MIke Payette, Dan Webster, Chuck Langford, Steve Clements, and singer Lesley Richardson. Readings with music gives insight as to how jazz influenced Kerouac’s writings. The New Uncharted Gallery. 103 Market Street.

Saturday, October 10

9:30 am. Commemorative at the Commemorative. French and Bridge Streets. Topic: "Jack’s Bridges—Lowell and Beyond." Lowell’s many bridges, over the Merrimack and Concord Rivers, fare prominently in Kerouac’s Lowell-based novels. They also serve as a metaphor for the many bridges Jack created in his literary life. One example: His essay "I’m a Bippie in the Middle" in which he sees himself as a bridge between the Beats and the Hippies. This is the theme to be explored in this year’s Commemorative at the Commemorative.

10:15 am. "Kerouac’s Lowell" Birthplace-to-Gravesite Bus Tour. Visiting his homes and other important Kerouac sites, finishing at gravesite. Led by Roger Brunelle. Leaves from Commemorative. $10 Donation. Reservations at 978-970-5000.

11:00 am. Stories from the Road. An exhibition at the Zeitgeist Gallery. Selected artists have been asked to display creative works of art illustrating the stated theme. Artists will give a brief talk about their work, accompanied by David Amram. Hosted by Judith Bessette. The Zeitgeist Gallery is located at 167 Market Street.

2:00 pm. Annual Parker Lecture with Dr. Tim Z. Hernandez. "Searching for the Real Mexican Girl." In 2010 author Tim Z. Hernandez located the real woman behind Jack Kerouac’s "Terry" from On the Road. At age 92 Bea Franco (now deceased) was living in relative obscurity in Fresno, California. In this presentation Hernandez will share his journey from research to writing of his award winning book, Mañana Means Heaven (University of Arizona Press, 2013), as well as the choices one must make when writing a counter-narrative to Kerouac’s portrayal of California’s Mexican communities in the late 1940s.

Dr. Tim Z. Hernandez in an award winning author, research scholar, and performance artist. He is the recipient of an American Book Award for poetry, the Premio Aztlan Prize for fiction, the Colorado Book Award, and the International Latino Book Award for historical fiction. In 2011 the Poetry Society of America named him one of sixteen New American Poets; and he was a finalist for his work on locating the victims of the 1948 plane wreck at Los Gatos Canyon as recalled in Woody Guthrie’s song "Deportee." The Lowell National Historical Visitors Park Visitors Center Theater. 246 Market Street.

3:30 pm. Kerouac’s Library Haunts and Hooky Tour. Led by Bill Walsh, Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St. Meet at the Merrimack Street entrance.

4:30 pm: Open Mike at the Old Worthen Upstairs. 141 Worthen Street. Poets, musicians, and readers are welcome! Emceed by Cliff Whalen.

6:00-8:00 Chamber Music Presentation with David Amram and Local Musicians. Classical saxophonist and soloist with the Boston Pops and New York Philharmonic Ken Radnofsky, pianist Damien Francoeur-Krzyzek, and violist Consuelo Sherba are confirmed for an evening performing Amram's classical chamber music, in addition to Amram speaking, reading from his three books and leading programs related to his collaborations with Jack Kerouac which will include locals artists all performing together. Cake will be served for David Amram's 85th birthday after the concert. Selections Include:

  • I. The Wind and the Rain for Viola and Piano (1964)
  • II. Finale from Ode to Lord Buckey A Concerto for Saxophone and Piano (1981)
  • III. Prologue for Scherzo for Unaccompanied Saxophone (1999)
  • IV. Greenwich Village Portraits for Saxophone and Piano (2014)
    • a. McDougal Street (for Arthur Miller)
    • b. Bleecker Street (for Odetta)
    • c. Christopher Street (for Frank McCourt)

St. Anne’s Church. Corner of Kirk and Merrimack Streets

8:30: Woodstock Poets Andy Clausen and Pamela Twinning Accompanied by Local Musicians. The Old Court Pub—Upstairs. 29-31 Central Street. A $10.00 dollar donation requested.

Sunday, October 11

10:30 am: Mystic Jack Tour. Led by Roger Brunelle. Visit the church, school, and home that were so important in his early years as described in "Visions of Gerard." Meet in front of St. Louis Church, 221 W. 6th St. $10.00 donation requested.

1:30-4:00 pm: Annual Amram Jam! Our annual event featuring David Amram performing with a cast of many volunteer readers, poets, and musicians. You can feel the spirit of Kerouac moving here! Cake will be served for David Amram's 85th birthday after the event at 4:30. Lowell Beerworks, 203 Cabot St.

5:00-6:00 pm: Saxophonist Jeff Robinson and Musicians. Reading San Francisco Blues. Lowell Beer Works.

6:30-8:00 pm: Michele and Bernie Choiniere. French Canadian Traditional Folk Music. Lowell Beer Works.

8:30 pm: Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night Tour. Led by Roger Brunelle. Visit Kerouac sites in Pawtucketville neighborhood and possibly the mystical Grotto. Group leaves from Cumnock Hall—University of Massachusetts, Lowell, North Campus. 1 University Avenue. $10.00 donation requested.

Monday, October 12

10:00 am: LCK Kerouac Loop Walk from the Kerouac Commemorative. Bridge St., to St. Louis church, W. 6th St., Centralville.

12-4 pm: Walking Jack: Continuing the Kerouac Loop Walk. From St. Louis School past Kerouac homes and landmarks in Centralville and Pawtucketville, finishing at Old Worthen Tavern for toasting to Jack.

Thanks to Our Supporters

The Enterprise Bank of Lowell

The Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell English Department

The Annual Donors to Lowell Celebrates Kerouac

The Old Worthen Tavern and the Lowell Telecommunications Corp. for providing LCK with meeting space throughout the year.

Our thanks to Darrell’s Music Hall of Nashua, New Hampshire for providing the keyboard for David Amram.

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac offers a very special thanks and appreciation to Mr. James Irsay of Indianapolis, Indiana for his generous support of LCK!

A big “LCK Thank You” as well to all the Lowell venues hosting our 2015 Events:

Cappy’s Copper Kettle, The Ward Eight Pub, Ricardo’s Cafe Trattoria, The Old Worthen, Lowell High School, The New UnchARTed Gallery, The Lowell National Historical Park, The Pollard Memorial Library, St. Anne’s Church, The Old Court Pub, St. Louis de France Church, The Lowell Beer Works, The University of Massachusetts at Lowell.