Tag Archives: Ted Berrigan

Jack Kerouac’s First Novel Translated in Persian, and It’s Not “On the Road”

3 Feb


More than fifty years after he rose to literary stardom in America, a novel by Jack Kerouac is being published in Persian for the first time, according to Iran Book News Agency.

Rozaneh Publications hired Farid Qadami to translate Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums.

Apparently you can get Farsi subtitles to the film adaptation of On the Road but the novel hasn’t been translated into Persian yet.

Although this may be the first time a novel by Kerouac is being translated into Farsi, the Iran Book News Agency reported in 2010 that Kerouac’s poetry volume Book of Haikus was translated into Persian by poet Alireza Abiz, a story that David S. Wills covered for Beatdom.

In his now famous interview with Ted Berrigan published by The Paris Review, Kerouac claimed to have Persian origins:

And it’s a Cornish name, which in itself means cairnish. And according to Sherlock Holmes, it’s all Persian. Of course you know he’s not Persian. Don’t you remember in Sherlock Holmes when he went down with Dr. Watson and solved the case down in old Cornwall and he solved the case and then he said, “Watson, the needle! Watson, the needle . . .” He said, “I’ve solved this case here in Cornwall. Now I have the liberty to sit around here and decide and read books, which will prove to me . . . why the Cornish people, otherwise known as the Kernuaks, or Kerouacs, are of Persian origin.”

Here is a story about Houman Harouni translating Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” into Farsi, which I found via the Allen Ginsberg Project.



Video: Joanne Kyger at The Poetry Project

19 Nov

I was excited to receive an email telling that this video of Joanne Kyger was recently uploaded to Youtube via The Poetry Project.

Poet Joanne Kyger is the author of Just Space: Poems 1979-1989, which includes such poems as “Bob Creeley Has Died And He Is To Have A Tibetan Ceremony,” “Day After Ted Berrigan’s Memorial Reading,” “Yesterday When Diana Drops Me Off On Evergreen,” and “You Believe This Stash Of Writing Is ‘scholarly’?” The book, published by Black Sparrow Press in 1991, is illustrated by Arthur Okamura. Kyger’s other works include The Tapestry and the Web (her first book); Strange Big Moon: The Japan and India Journals: 1960-1964 (foreword by Anne Waldman); God Never Dies; The Distressed Look; and her most recent, About Now: Collected Poems.

Joanne Elizabeth Kyger was born on November 19, 1934, in Vallejo, California. She studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then moved to north, where the San Fransisco Renaissance was happening. In 1958 she met poet Gary Snyder, and when he moved to Japan she went too and married him on February 28, 1960. Together they later traveled to India, where they met up with Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. By 1964, she was back in the US, and the following year she married painter Jack Boyce. They separated in the 70s. Kyger currently lives in Bolinas, California.

Check out her poetry online here.


The Coffee Habit of Jack Kerouac

25 Sep

I’m on a coffee kick! Following up on my post about coffee and personality, I wanted to take a look at Jack Kerouac’s coffee habits.

Although people are quick to point to Jack Kerouac’s proclivity for alcohol, he downed coffee while writing On the Road. Okay, he may have also been hopped up on bennies—that’s Benzedrine—but his intake of coffee during that writing spree is notorious.

In the famous Paris Review interview between Kerouac and Ted Berrigan, Kerouac said that it wasn’t until Satori in Paris that he “wrote with drink at my side (cognac and malt liquor).”

Of writing, Book of Dreams, he explained how coffee entered into his writing process:

Bleary eyes, insaned mind bemused and mystified by sleep, details that pop out even as you write them you don’t know what they mean, till you wake up, have coffee, look at it, and see the logic of dreams in dream language itself, see?

As for how he took his coffee, Kerouac apparently drank it black.