Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

2017 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival Schedule

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road...
Everybody goes home in October.”
Jack Kerouac. On the Road

Observing the 60th anniversary of the publication of On the Road.

Thursday, October 5


6:00 p.m. Traditional Kerouac Pub Tour.

From the Old Worthen, 141 Worthen St. to Ricardo’s (formerly Nicky Sampas’ bar) to Thirsty Thursdays to Cappy’s Copper Kettle. Led by Bill Walsh.

8:00 p.m. LCK Kick-off at Cappy’s. Music and Readings
Performances by Alan Crane and other local musicians and readers. Joined by special guest David Amram. Hosted by John McDermott.

Friday, October 6

9:30 a.m. LHS Annual Poetry and Prose Competition. Lowell High School
Held at Jack Kerouac’s alma mater, Lowell High School. Students will read their poetry and prose entries. David Amramwill share his memories of collaborating with Jack Kerouac.
Note: This is a Lowell High School event and not open to the public.

2:00 p.m. Talking Jack.
An open-ended time for readings and conversation on the life and work of Jack Kerouac. On this 60th anniversary of the publication of On the Road we’ll lead off with a conversation about the continuing impact of Kerouac’s signature work andsee where it takes us.
Christ Church United. 180 East Merrimack St. (Across the bridge by the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, next to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church).

4:30—7:00 p.m. Festive Wine Opening: “GRAY WORDS: The Dark and Light of Jack Kerouac”
Artist Barbara Gagel’s abstract images using heated wax and pigment offer a deeper view of Kerouac’s writing. His dark moments and his transcendent illuminating words in a gray world allow us to ponder our own inner poetry and understanding of duality.
Ayer Lofts. 172 Middle Street.

6:00—8:00 p.m. Exhibit Opening Reception: Kerouac’s Lowell.
An invitational show curated by Mary Hart, gathering the works of artists in various media which examines Lowell as Jack Kerouac might have seen it. Not a nostalgic exhibit, but on that captures Lowell as it is today, still embodying the grit, determination, and soul of the city in all its forms, as when Kerouac roamed the streets. Live music and refreshments.
Lowell Telecommunications Center. 246 Market Street.

7:30 p.m. “Pull My Daisy” Showing and Commentary; and Jack and Jazz with David Amram.
A showing of the classic film Pull My Daisy as narrated by Jack Kerouac, followed by commentary by Dr. Nancy Fox.
Then an evening of Jack and Jazz with David and Adam Amram, accompanied by Kevin Twigg and Rene Hart.
A $5.00 donation to LCK is requested. Zorba’s Music Hall. 438 Market Street.

Saturday, October 7

9:30 a.m. Commemorative at the Commemorative.
This year’s observance is primarily devoted to recalling the life and legacy of John Sampas, who passed away this past March.
The Commemorative is located at French and Bridge Streets.

10:15 a.m. Bus Tour: The Jack Kerouac Tour of Lowell.
This tour takes participants to a number of Kerouac places around Lowell, accompanied with interpretative readings. Stops include Kerouac’s birthplace, the schools he attended, the neighborhoods where he lived, the church and shrines at which he prayed, and his gravesite. Departs from the Commemorative following the observance there. Led by Roger Brunelle.
Donations gratefully accepted. Reservations at 978-970-5000.

10:30 a.m. Art Walk/Gallery Tour.
A tour of the Lowell galleries that are currently featuring Kerouac related exhibits. Stops will be at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, the Ayer Lofts, and the Lowell Telecommunications Center.
Led by Judith Bessette. Leave from the Commemorative following the observance there.

12:30 p.m. Kerouac, Cassady, and the Merry Pranksters.
A presentation by Brian Hassett and George Walker. George Walker was part of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, and made the 1964 cross country trip—with Neal Cassady at the wheel—of the Pranksters “Magic Bus.”
Community Room—Pollard Library. 401 Merrimack Street.

2:00 p.m. Annual Parker/LCK Lecture. John Leland: “Why Kerouac Matters—The Lessons of On the Road (They’re Not What You Think).
John Leland is a feature writer for The New York Times and the author of the book that bears the same title as his address. He is also the author of Hip: The History.
Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center. 246 Market Street.

3:30 p.m. Library Haunts and Hooky Tour.
This tour includes a visit to the Pollard Library’s “Kerouac Corner,” so named to honor the time Jack spent here during his high school days—sometimes playing hooky to expand his own literary horizons. Led by Bill Walsh. Pollard Memorial Library. 401 Market Street.

4:00 p.m. Open Mike at the Worthen. Lead off with Brian Hassett Road Show.
Brian Hassett, author of “The Hitch-Hikers Guide to Jack Kerouac” returns to Lowell with his theatrical spoken word and music. This is a “Road” theme show—coinciding with the 60thanniversary of the publication of On the Road.
Following Brian you are invited to bring your favorite Kerouac passage to share , or a Kerouac inspired passage of your own. Emceed by Cliff Whalen.
The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

7:30 p.m. A Conversation with Jami Cassady, with Steve Edington. Music to Follow.
Jami Cassady, daughter of Neal Cassady will recount some of her memories of her father and her times with her “Uncle Jack” (Kerouac). Followed by an evening of music—TBD. Zorba’s Music Hall. 438 Market Street.

Sunday, October 8

10:00 a.m. “Mystic Jack” Tour.
Walking Tour begins at the St. Louis de France Church and moves along Beaulieu St. to the convent and school. Tours is based on Visions of Gerard, the mystical story of Jack’s brother who died at nine years. He is portrayed by Jack as the universal symbol of brotherhood and kindness, with emphasis on Gerard’s tenderness and dreams.
Led by Roger Brunelle. Donations gratefully accepted.
St. Louis de France Church. 241 West 6th Street.

1:30—4:00 p.m. Annual Amram Jam.
Our annual event featuring David Amram performing with a cast of many readers, p[oets, and musicians. You can feel the spirit of Kerouac moving here!
Downstairs at The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

6:00 p.m. “Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night” Tour .
An evening walk through the streets of the Pawtucketvilleneighborhood where Jack spent his adolescent years, as he describes them in Doctor Sax and Maggie Cassidy. Reading from his talk-writings at the cottages and tenements where Jack lived when he attended the Bartlett Junior High School and Lowell High. Tour ends at the Sainte-Jeanne D’Arc Church where Jack saw a vision of the BEAT-ific Generation.
Led by Roger Brunelle. Donations gratefully accepted.
Begins at Cumnock Hall. UML North Campus. 1 University Avenue.

Monday, October 9

10:00 a.m. Kerouac’s Nashua Connection Van Tour.
A tour of the Kerouac sites of Nashua, New Hampshire led by Steve Edington, author of Kerouac’s Nashua Connection. Stops are at the homes of Jack’s aunts, uncles, and cousins as cited in Visions of Gerard, Doctor Sax, Vanity of Duluoz, and The Town and the City. Final stop is at the gravesite of Jack’s parents, Leo and Gabrielle; his brother, Girard; and his daughter, Jan Michelle. Will connect with the Loop Walk in progress—see item below—after returning to Lowell for those who would like to join it. Leave from the Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center. 246 Market Street.
Reservations at 978-970-5000. Donations gratefully accepted.

10:00 a.m. Loop Tour from the Kerouac Commemorative.
Walk goes from the Commemorative on Bridge Street to the St. Louis Church in Centerville, past Kerouac homes and landmarks in Centralville and Pawtucketville, finishing at The Old WorthenTavern.

Last Call at the Worthen following the Loop Tour.
For those who are still around, we close out the Festival with one last call at the Worthen!

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