Schedule: OCTOBER 6-10, 2022 – Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival


Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

The October Festival features tours of Kerouac’s Lowell places–including many sites described in his Lowell-based novels-panel discussions, reading, jazz and folk music, films, open mike events, as high poetry competition, book signings, and more. Kerouac fans and scholars from across the United States and around the world travel to Lowell for the festival.

The 2022 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival
Closing Out the 2022 Jack Kerouac Centennial in Lowell
Observing the 60th Anniversary of the Publication of Big Sur 

Pre-Festival Events

Thursday, September 15

7:00 pm: Presentation and discussion of “Whither Goest Thou America in Your Shiny Car?”

This is the title of a chapter by Steve Edington in his forthcoming book “The Gospel According to Jack.”

Lala Books of Lowell. 189 Market Street.

Saturday, October 1

9:30 am: A Marathon Reading of Big Sur at the Pollard Library

Celebrate Kerouac’s novel Big Sur on the 60th anniversary of its publication. Join us as we read the novel in its entirety over the course of the day. Those interested in reading can register starting on September 1, 2022. Arranged by Bridget Cooley, Coordinator of Community Planning.

Link to register that will open on September 1:

Pollard Memorial Library. 401 Merrimack Street.

The 2022 LCK/Kerouac Centennial Festival

 There will be an exhibition of LCK posters from previous festivals at the O’Leary Library mezzanine, UML South Campus, during the month of October.

Thursday, October 6

 2:00 pm: Desolation Peak: Collected Writings of Jack Kerouac

A presentation by Charles Shuttleworth from a just released book on Kerouac’s Desolation Peak journals. Done in conjunction with the Kerouac Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

South Campus of the UML. O’Leary Library Mezzanine. 61 Wilder Street.

5:00 pm: Festival’s Opening Gathering at The Old Worthen

Followed by a Jack at Night Tour that will include stops at the St. Jean Baptiste Church, the site of the “Watermelon Man Bridge”, The Grotto and the Archambault Funeral Home (where Jack was waked), and then a return to The Old Worthen. Tour led by Bill Walsh.

141 Worthen Street.

 7:30 pm: Music at The Old  Worthen

This will follow the Jack at Night Walk. Music by GlassOnion, a Beatles Tribute Band from Lowell, MA. George Koumantzelis and Mike Dion. Readings by Meg Smith and Jim Dunn and Dan Bacon.

141 Worthen Street.

Friday, October 7

9:30 am: Lowell High School Annual Poetry and Prose Competition

Lowell High School.  [Not open to the public.]

11:00 am: Reality Alley Poetry Workshop.

Led by Dan Bacon.

Courtyard of The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

2:00 pm: Talking Jack

An open-ended, informal conversation about Kerouac, for all who wish to join in, hosted by Kurt Phaneuf. We’ll also welcome guests Jerry and Estelle Cimino from San Francisco’s Beat Museum, who are completing a cross-country Kerouac Centennial “Beat Museum on Wheels” tour.

The All Gallery. 307 Market Street.

3:30 pm: Classical Jack from Bach to Debussy to Amram

Some of Jack’s favorite classical chamber works. David Amram hosts the works of European masters as well as his own Greenwich Village Portraits. The Wind and the Rain, performed by Ken Radnofsky, Consuelo Sherba, and Yoshike Kline. The New England premier of Let’s Go Back to the Village, for soprano and two guitars, with a text from Kerouac’s Lonesome Traveler will be debuted by William Anderson’s ensemble.

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

7:00-9:00 pm: FlavaEvolution

A Night of Jazz at Zorba’s Music Hall.

9:00-11:00 pm: David Amram Band with Adam Amram, Kevin Twigg, and Rene Hart

437 Market Street.

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

Saturday, October 8

9:00 am: Commemorative at the Commemorative

Part of the Commemorative gathering this year will be to honor the lives of four persons who have passed away in the past year or two, and who each played an important part in the LCK Story: Mark Hemenway, Richard Hyatt. David Greenwalt, and Alyce Brunelle.

Then, on this 60th anniversary of the publication of Big Sur, we’ll take an honest look at Kerouac’s struggle with alcohol and his willingness to be open about it. How do we honor that struggle without romanticizing it? LCKer Mike Flynn will share some of his recovery story and the role Big Sur played for him as he dealt with it.

10:00 am: Bus Tour of the Kerouac Sites of Lowell

Includes Kerouac’s birthplace on Lupine Road, and his gravesite at the Edson Cemetery, as well as other sites described in his Lowell novels.

Leave from the Commemorative.

Reservations suggested by calling 978-970-5000.

A $10.00 donation is requested to cover the bus costs.

10:00 am: Walking Tour of Downtown Kerouac Sites

Led by Kurt Phaneuf and done in collaboration with the Lowell Walks program of the Lowell National Historical Park.

Leave from the Commemorative.

Donations gratefully accepted.   

12:30 pm: Jack Kerouac @100 A Beat Museum on Wheels Presentation

We’re introducing Jerry and Estelle Cimino at the “Talking Jack” event on Friday afternoon. This is one of the programs they are presenting at their Kerouac Centennial stops, as they make their way from California’s Big Sur to Lowell. Part mobile museum and part presentations, items curated from The Beat Museum in San Francisco will be on exhibit. As we close out the Kerouac Centennial in Lowell, we bring together “Kerouacians” from the West and East Coasts for one more take on Jack at 100.

Middlesex Community College Academic Arts Center. 240 Central Street.

2:00 pm: Dr. Jean Christophe Cloutier. “The Man the Other Side—Jack Kerouac, Bilingualism, and Self-Translation.” An LCK/Parker Lecture Presentation

J.C. Cloutier is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the editor ofLa vie est d’hommage (2016, 2022), which gathers the original French writings of Jack Kerouac, and he also translated into English two of Kerouac’s French novels for the Library of America’sThe Unknown Kerouac (2016, edited by Todd Tietchen). He is currently completing an extensive study of Kerouac’s oeuvre that explores the writer’s practices as a novelist, translator, and archivist.

Middlesex Community College Academic Arts Center. 240 Central Street.

3:30 pm: Library Haunts and Hooky Tour. Bill Walsh. Pollard Memorial Library.

401 Merrimack Street.

 Donations gratefully accepted.

4:00 pmOpen Mic at The Old Worthen MC’d by Dan Bacon and hosted by Cliff Whalen

141 Worthen Street.

5:00 pm: Brian Hassett’s Jack at 100 Road Show

Author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac” and other Beat books. Brian returns to LCK for the sixth time with his high energy theatrical readings and comedic story telling.

Upstairs at The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

7:00 pm: Another Night of Jazz at Zorba’s Music Hall

A $20.00 door donation is requested to support Lowell Celebrates Kerouac

7:00-9:00 pm: Wendee Glick Trio

9:00-11:00 pm: Dig Infinity! Lord Buckley in the Bardo

Buckley biographer Oliver Trager’s immersive theatrical experience with multi-instrumentalist Jerry Gregoire

11:00 pm to closing: Lowell’s own Party Band

Zorba’s Music Hall. 437 Market Street

Sunday, October 9

10:00 am: Mystic Jack Tour

Visit some 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.

1:30-4:00 pm: Annual Amram Jam

Bring your Kerouac inspired poem or prose to read while accompanied by David Amram with Adam Amram, Kevin Twigg, and Rene Hart. Emceed by Mike Flynn.

The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

5:15 pm: “Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night” Tour

Visit some of the sites in Kerouac’s Doctor Sax.

Cumnock Hall. UML North Campus. 1 University Avenue.

Led by Bill Walsh and Kurt Phaneuf.

 Donations gratefully accepted.

7:00 pm: Jack on Film

An audience-interactive, video-clip rich dialog about every portrayal of Kerouac on the big and small screen, presented by the author of the Beat Movie Guide webpage, Brian Hassett. Pull My Daisy, The Subterraneans, Heart Beat, Beat Angel, On the Road, Kill Your Darlings, Big Sur and others will be explored and shown in part. You’ll leave knowing every Jack movie ever made—and wanting to see them all. One of the actors who best portrayed Jack will be joining via Zoom.

Upstairs at The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

Monday, October 10

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

Visit some of the sties in Nashua, New Hampshire that Kerouac describes in his Lowell novels.  The final stop is the St. Louis de Gonzague Cemetery where Leo, Gabrielle, Gerard, and Jan Kerouac are laid to rest. Led by Steve Edington.

Leave from the Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center. 146 Market St.

Reservations suggested by calling 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 pm (approximately): Last Call at The Old Worthen Following the Loop Tour

Safe travels home and see you next year!

Lodging Opportunities

 The University of Massachusetts Inn and Conference Center is booked up for a University event this year, and is not available for LCK Festival lodging.

We have an arrangement with the Sonesta Select Motel (formerly the Courtyard Marriott) for rooms. The Sonesta is off Exit 3 of the Lowell Connector, 5-10 minutes from downtown Lowell.

Here’s the link:

You can also call 978-458-7575 and say you want to reserve from the Kerouac Block.

Other Lodging Options. Each one is a 10-to-15 minute drive into downtown Lowell:

 The Best Western Plus/Chelmsford Inn. Off Exit 88 of I-495. Website:

The Element/Weston of Chelmsford. Off Exit 84 of US Route 3—Drum Hill. Website:

Motel 6 in Tewksbury. Off Exit 92 on I-495. Website:


Some additional events transpiring around the centennial celebration will include: 

  • Famous quotes from Kerouac’s works being made as banners and hung on light poles in downtown Lowell, MA
  • The Jack Kerouac Foundation has been created to establish a Jack Kerouac museum and performance venue in Lowell, MA. Their first initiative will be funding to pursue the establishment for the museum and performance center in the magnificent former St. Jean Baptiste Church where Kerouac was an altar boy and the site of his funeral in 1969.
  • Adventure Lab is a new app and platform in development from the team at Geocaching HQ that allows you to play and share unique outdoor scavenger hunts, experiences, and games.
    The free Adventure Lab® app guides players through the process of finding clues, solving puzzles, and completing adventures one location at a time. Jack Kerouac’s Adventure Lab has between 5-8 points located in Lowell which will allow visitors to discover places important to Jack Kerouac’s story while having fun!
  • DIY Lowell will work with Kerouac @ 100 Committee on various historical markers, a “little library” and chalk walk.
  • Unreleased works of Kerouac, as well as authors who were inspired by Kerouac, will be published via Sal Paradise Press—the content development arm of The Jack Kerouac Estate formed by Sampas and music industry veteran Sylvia Cunha (Director of Marketing and Development for The Jack Kerouac Estate).
  • Launch of the Kerouac And Me podcast/audio project which will see stars of music, film/tv, literature, politics, sports and business share stories of how their work was inspired by Kerouac and was created by Sampas and Cunha for Sal Paradise Media and New York Times bestselling authors Dave Wedge and Casey Sherman for Fort Point Media.

About the KEROUAC @ 100 Committee:

The Kerouac @ 100 Committee consists of The Kerouac Center at UMass Lowell, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell Office of Cultural Affairs, the Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell’s Franco-American Day Committee, and Québec Delégation of Boston.    KEROUAC @ 100 is funded in part by The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, The Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kerouac Center at UMass Lowell, Allen Ginsberg Estate, Massachusetts State Senator Edward Kennedy, City Of Lowell, Pollard Memorial Library Foundation, Lowell National Historical Park, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, George Duncan/Enterprise Bank, Lowell Cultural Council, Greater Lowell Health Alliance, Québec Delégation of Boston, and the Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series. For more information please visit or email us at