Schedule: 2021 LCK Festival

This Year’s Festival is Dedicated to the Memory of Roger Brunelle

October 7-11, 2021

“Everybody goes home in October.”    Jack Kerouac: On the Road

Thanks To Our Supporters:

The Enterprise Bank of Lowell for the Lowell High School Poetry Competition Prizes
The Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series
The Annual Donors to Lowell Celebrates Kerouac

Special Thanks Also To:

Darrell’s Music Hall of Nashua, NH for providing the keyboard for David Amram
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church for hosting the Parker Lecture and the Amram Jam

This year’s Festival is also supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac will respect and uphold any conditions or stipulations that our host venues may wish to have in place concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly urge that those attending our events be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated patrons are urged to wear masks at all indoor venues.
Thank you!

Posters from previous LCK Festivals will be on display at The Lowell Telecommunications Center at 246 Market Street during the Festival.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, October 7

1:00 pm: MCC/LCK Poetry Contest – canceled

Academic Arts Building

5:00 pm: Traditional Kerouac Pub Tour

Led by Bill Walsh.
Begins at The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.
Donations gratefully accepted.

6:00 pm: Jazz at The Keep

Music provided by Barre Bones–Trombone, Sax, and Drums–a fun, funky exploration of sound.

Also, readings by Massachusetts based authors Steve O’Connor and Jay Atkinson.

The Keep is the site of the former Nicky’s Bar, run by Kerouac’s brother-in-law Nick Sampas in the late 1960s.

110 Gorham Street.
A $10.00 cover charge requested.

7:30 pm: Lowell Chamber Orchestra Program and Concert—Orlando Cela

This special event is being done in collaboration with LCK. A panel discussion on Jack Kerouac’s works and crafting musical meaning on setting his text to music, ending in a performance of three brand new works by Mark Berger, Karl Henning and Aaron Rosenberg.

Hosted by Middlesex Community College’s “A World of Music” Concert Series.

Middlesex Community College Auditorium. 240 Central Street. 

8:00 pm: Music and Readings at the Warp and Weft

Readings by local poets Meg Smith, Jim Dunn, and Chath pierSath.

Musical performances by Mike Dion of the ODB Project and George Koumantzelis of Aeolian Kid.

197 Market Street.

Friday, October 8

9:00 am: Lowell High School Annual Poetry and Prose Competition

This is a Lowell High School event and not open to the public

9:15 am: Writers Panel at the Greater Lowell Technical High School. Will include readings by panelist David Iverson, poet Chath pierSath, and novelist Steve O’Connor.

Will include readings by poet Chath Piersath and novelist Steve O’Connor.

This is a GLTHS event and not open to the public.   

11:30—1:30 pm: Reality Alley Poetry Workshop

Facilitated by Dan Bacon.

The Old Worthen Courtyard.  141 Worthen Street

2:00 pm: Talking Jack

Informal Conversation about Kerouac hosted by Kurt Phaneuf

ALL Gallery. 167 Market Street. An outdoor setting is available.

4:00—7:00 pm: Gallery Opening of Kerouac Themed Exhibit by Barbara Gagel

All His Life Was in That Line…An Artist’s 10-year Fascination with Jack Kerouac’s Words.

Ayer Lofts. 172 Middle Street.

8:00 pm:  A Night of Great Jazz at Zorba’s Music Hall

The Wendee Glick Trio with Wendee, jazz vocalist, Steve Heck, keyboard and Greg Holt, acoustic bass.


The Legendary David Amram and his band: Kevin Twigg on drums, Rene Hart on bass and Adam Amram on percussion.


Zorba’s Music Hall. 437 Market Street.

 A $10.00 cover charge requested to support Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.

Saturday, October 9

9:00 am: Commemorative at the Commemorative. French and Bridge Streets

A Remembrance of Roger Brunelle led by Richard Scott and Steve Edington.

This year’s Festival is dedicated to the life and legacy of one of LCK Founders, Roger Brunelle, who passed away this past February. 

In case of rain this event will be held at St. Anne’s Chapel, corner of Merrimack and Kirk Streets

10:15 am: Bus Tour of the Kerouac Sites of Lowell

Includes the Kerouac birthplace and burial site at Edson Cemetery.

Leave from the Commemorative.

Led by Bill Walsh and Steve Edington.

Reservations suggested. Call 978-970-5000.

A $10.00 donation requested. 

10:15 am: Walking Tour of Downtown Kerouac Sites

Led by Kurt Phaneuf in partnership with Lowell Walks.

Leave from the Commemorative.

Donations gratefully accepted. 

12:30 pm: Frank Brusca. On the Road Again Presentation

Highway Historian Frank Brusca has researched Kerouac’s On the Road as to when and where he journeyed and the people with whom he interacted. Many readers of OTR imagine traveling side by side with Kerouac. But what if Kerouac had taken photographs on his journeys? Ten years of research by Frank Brusca have resulted in detailed maps of his travels and those maps inform us about what he saw. This presentation is a review of period photographs that show what Kerouac saw between 1947 and 1950.

Lowell Telecommunications Center. 246 Market Street.

2:00 pm: Annual Parker/LCK Lecture

Steve O’Connor: Writing in Kerouac’s Shadow.

Jack Kerouac is the only writer from Lowell to have achieved an international reputation. Contemporary Lowell writer, Stephen O’Connor, discusses Kerouac as a figure that may illuminate, influence, and at times overshadow the work of other writers from the Mill City. The public may try to define the Lowell writer as a “New Jack Kerouac,” or compare his or her work to Kerouac. O’Connor will also discuss his own connections to Kerouac, the Lowell background they share, as well as common influences and differences.

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

3:30 pm: Library Haunts and Hooky Tour

Led by Bill Walsh.

Pollard Memorial Library. 401 Merrimack St.

Masks required as per City Ordinance for City-owned buildings.

Donations gratefully accepted.

4:00 pm:  Open Mic at the Kerouac Commemorative

Hosted by Cliff Whalen and Dan Bacon

8:00 pm:  An Evening of Fine Music at Zorba’s Music Hall

8:00pm: The Nowhere Men

Featuring Lowell musicians Peter Lavender, Dave Norton, Bob Nash and Tom Mansur, who will be playing select songs from the music catalog of The Beatles.


10:00 pm:   FlavaEvolution

Based in western Massachusetts, FlavaEvolution is a unique jazz quartet with horns and bass. They create a sound that crosses a chamber string ensemble with modern jazz, 1970s soul, and beautiful balladry.


Zorba’s Music Hall. 437 Market Street.

A $15.00 cover charge requested to support Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.

Sunday, October 10

10:00 am: Mystic Jack Tour

A walking tour of the sites in Kerouac’s Visions of Gerard.

St. Louis de France Church. 241 West 6th St.

Led by Bill Walsh.

Donations gratefully accepted.

11:30 am: Jazz Brunch at Gallery Z

Jazz, poetry, and a great late morning brunch. Judith Bessette will

read poems from “LaBelle France.”

167 Market Street

Donations to Lowell Celebrates Kerouac gratefully accepted.

12:30 pm: Northport, New York Poets with George Wallace

George Wallace is the first Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, NY and a former writer in residence at the Walt Whitman birthplace in Huntington, NY. He edits an on-line poetry magazine, Poetry Bay.

Readers will be Jon Sanborne, Charlie Pellegrino, Christian Limbach, and Eddie Donoghue.

Upstairs at The Worthen. 141 Worthen Street. 

1:30—4:00 pm: Annual Amram Jam

Bring your Kerouac inspired poem or prose to read while accompanied by David Amram and his trio of Adam Amram, Kevin Twigg, and Rene Hart.

Hosted by Mike Flynn

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

6:00 pm: “Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night” Tour

A walking tour of the sites from Kerouac’s Doctor Sax.

Led by Bill Walsh and Kurt Phaneuf.

Cumnock Hall UML North Campus. 1 University Avenue.

Donations gratefully accepted.

Monday, October 11

10:00 am: Kerouac’s Nashua Connection Van Tour

A tour of the Kerouac Sites of Nashua, New Hampshire.

The final stop is the St. Louis deGonzague Cemetery where Leo, Gabrielle, Gerard and Jan Kerouac are laid to rest.

Led by Steve Edington. Depart from the LNHP Visitors Center. 146 Market Street.

Reservations suggested. Call 978-970-5000.

Donations gratefully accepted.

10:00 am: LCK Loop Tour

Led by Bill Walsh

Departs from the Commemorative at French and Bridge Streets

2:00 pmuntil ????: Wrap Party!

Last Call at the Worthen following the Loop Tour for any who are still in town and where we say “See you next year!”