Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

2018 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

October 4-8, 2018

“Everybody goes home in October”
—Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Observing the 30th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Jack Kerouac Commemorative
And the 60th Anniversary of the Publication of The Dharma Bums

Thanks To Our Supporters:

The Enterprise Bank of Lowell for the Lowell High School Poetry Competition Prizes
The Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series
The City of Lowell, Massachusetts
The Annual Donors to Lowell Celebrates Kerouac
Darrell’s Music Hall of Nashua, NH for providing the keyboard for David Amram
The Pollard Library and the Lowell Telecommunications Center for providing LCK with meeting space throughout the year
Special thanks and appreciation to Mr. James Irsay for his generous support of LCK!
Special thanks as well to the Duncan Family Fund—a component fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation—for their sponsorship of the Vance Gilbert Concert

From September 24-October 7. A Kerouac Inspired Art Exhibit will run at Gallery Z. Artist Reception on October 4th from 7:00—9:00 p.m. 167 Market Street.

An Exhibit of posters of previous LCK Festival will run at the Lowell Telecommunications Gallery during the month of October. 246 Market Street.

Also at LTC: during month of October, Photographs by Eero Ruuttila. The photos document my experience of musicians and dancers as I traveled to the “Festival au Desert” and back to Bamako, Mali.

Thursday, October 4th

5:00 p.m. Sebastien Laading Art Installation: I Am Jack—Experience Kerouac’s Kickwriting Momentum.
Perhaps no manuscript has had such strange artistic and physical history as Jack Kerouac’s famous novel On the Road. Sebastien Laading’s installation proposes to experience the famour “kickwriting” momentum thanks to an augmented and interactive 1933 Underwood portable typewriter. Just sit and type anything to discover the original scroll appear progressively on the paper!
The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

6:00 p.m. Traditional Kerouac Pub Tour. Old Worthen to Cappy’s Copper Kettle.
From the Old Worthen—141 Worthen Street—to the site of Nicky Sampas’ Bar, to the Thirsty First Bar, to Cappys. Led by Bill Walsh and Mike Wurm. Donation Requested.

8:00 p.m. Opening Event at Cappy’s Copper Kettle. Musicians and Readings.
Performances by Alan Crane, George Koumantzelis, Colleen Nichols, and others. Readings by Meg Smith. Joined by special guest David Amram. Hosted by John McDermott.
245 Central Street.

Friday, October 5th

6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Breakfast with Jack
Gormley’s Café will be featuring a Jack –themed menu with several French Canadian inspired breakfast specials and playing Beat Generation jazz on the sound system.
139 E Merrimack St

9:00 a.m. Lowell High School Poetry Competition.
Held at Jack Kerouac’s alma mater. Students will read their poetry and prose entries. David Amram will share his memories of collaborating with Jack Kerouac.
Note: This is a Lowell High School event and not open to the public.

12:30 p.m. Reality Alley Poetry Workshop.
While discussing concrete poetic methods and exploring Jack’s ideas for spontaneous composition (first thought/best thought) attendees will create their own new poem. Come with a notebook, pen and a clear mind. The workshop will unpack the poetry toolbox and will cover how to use form, voice, language and metaphor to embolden your poetry.
Facilitated by Dan Bacon.
Upstairs at The Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

2:00 p.m. Talking Jack. All Gallery.
An open-ended gathering for readings and conversation on the life and work of Jack Kerouac. On this 60th anniversary of the publication of The Dharma Bums we’ll lead off with a conversation about the impact of this particular work and see where it goes from there.
Hosted by Kurt Phaneuf.
The All Gallery. 307 Market Street.

4:00—7:00 p.m. Barbara Gagel Art Exhibit Opening. “Obtaining Silence Is Like Locating Nirvana.”
A festive wine and sushi art opening. The artists, Barbara Gagel, and Charles Gallagher, using wax and stone, show the influence of the words and Zen spirit of Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. Ayer Lofts. 172 Middle Street.

7:30 p.m. The Brian Hassett Road Show. Zorba’s Music Hall.
Brian, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac”, returns to Lowell with his theatrical readings and comedic storytelling. Lots of special guests will also be joining in—all great fun!
438 Market Street.

8:30 p.m. Jazz and Jack—David Amram and Musicians.
Following Brian and friends, an evening of jazz with David Amram, Kevin Twigg, and Rene Hart. The indefatigable jazzman, composer, and Kerouac collaborator David Amram keep going as strong and delightful as ever!
A $10.00 donation to support LCK is requested.
Zorba’s Music Hall. 438 Market Street.

Saturday, October 6th

6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Breakfast with Jack
Gormley’s Café will be featuring a Jack –themed menu with several French Canadian inspired breakfast specials and playing Beat Generation jazz on the sound system.
139 E Merrimack St

9:00 a.m. Commemorative at the Commemorative.
Focus on the 30th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Commemorative. Speakers to include Richard Scott, Brian Foye, and others involved in the original effort.
French and Bridge Streets

10:15 a.m. Bus Tour with Roger Brunelle.
A tour of many of the Kerouac places of Lowell accompanied with interpretative readings. Stops include Kerouac’s birthplace, the neighborhoods where he lived, the church and shrines at which he prayed, and gravesite. Departs from the Commemorative.
Donations gratefully accepted. Reservations call 978-970-5000.

10:30 a.m. Downtown Walking Tour.
For those who have done the Bus Tour in previous years, here’s an alternative: A low impact walking tour in downtown Lowell, hitting multiple sites of importance from Jack’s Lowell oeuvre, with a particular emphasis on Doctor Sax and Maggie Cassidy. Will feature readings spiced with Lowell lore and history. Led by Kurt Phaneuf.
Departs from The Commemorative.

12:30 p.m. Brian Foye Presentation on the Early Days of LCK.
One of the founders of LCK shares some of his memories of how the organization got started with the building of the Jack Kerouac Commemorative, and all the Kerouac Festivals that have come forth since its Dedication 30 years ago.
Community Room. Pollard Library. 401 Merrimack Street.

2:00 p.m. Parker Lecture. Dr. Ann Charters.
Dr. Charters is a retired Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of the first Kerouac biography, and the editor of The Portable Kerouac and The Selected Letters of Jack Kerouac. Her presentation will focus on the 60th anniversary of the publication of Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. Dr. Charters was an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley at the time the incidents in Dharma Bums took place.
Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center. 246 Market Street.

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Scripture of the Golden Ale: a Multimedia Celebration of Kerouac’s Lowell and Craft Beer
Featuring readings by Stephen O’Connor, John Flaherty, David Daniel, Jerry Bisantz, and others, looping footage and the trailer from Jonathan Stevens’ film The Merrimack/Collage of a City, photography from Jeff Caplan’s The Town and the City collection, musical performances by Helen trio and David Greenwood, and several Jack inspired beers on tap! Hosted by Dave Iverson.
(This event coincides with Western Avenue Studios’ ARToberfest, with up to 300 artists’ studios/shops open to visitors; Phoenix Rising Pizza will also be on site vending some of the best pies in Lowell.)
Navigation Brewing Co./Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave.

3:00 A Preview of a work-in-progress Kerouac themed opera: “La Nuit Est Ma Femme” by Mahilde Cote. University of Massachusetts Lowell Music Department. 35 Wilder Street.

3:30 p.m. Library Haunts and Hookey 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—sometime playing hooky to be there in order to expand his literary horizons. Led by Bill Walsh.
Pollard Memorial Library. 401 Market Street.

4:30 p.m. Open Mic at The Old Worthen.
Open with Mark Bliesener reading Kerouac passages that speak to Kerouac’s Denver ties and the Kerouac/Cassady relationship. Mark produces an annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash in Denver. Organized by Cliff Whalen and emceed by Dan Bacon. 141 Worthen Street.

7:30 p.m. Brian Hassett and John Cassady Present Kerouac and Cassady. Zorba’s Music Hall.
John Cassady is the son of Beat Icon, Neal Cassady. Together they form a duo that brings Jack and Neal’s friendship to life with texts and improv. 438 Market Street.

9:00 p.m. Vance Gilbert Performance. Zorba’s Music Hall.
Acclaimed New England based musician and performer, Vance Gilbert, offers the LCK featured event for 2018.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “He has the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god.”
The Boston Globe: “…a rare performer for whom people lean forward in their seats as eagerly between songs as they do during them.”
A $15.00 donation is requested to support Lowell Celebrates Kerouac. 438 Market Street.

Sunday, October 7th

7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Breakfast with Jack
Gormley’s Café will be featuring a Jack –themed menu with several French Canadian inspired breakfast specials and playing Beat Generation jazz on the sound system.
139 E Merrimack St

10:00 a.m. Jazz Brunch at Gallery Z. Dedicated to David Amram. 167 Market St.

10:00 a.m. Mystic Jack Tour with Roger Brunelle.
This walking tour begins at the St. Louis de France Church and moves along Beaulieu St. to the convent and school. Tour is based on Visions of Gerard, the mystical story of Jack’s brother who died at age nine. He is portrayed by Jack as the universal symbol of kindness, with emphasis on Gerard’s tenderness and dreams.
Meet at 241 West 6th Street.

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

5:30 p.m. Film: “Loving Vincent”
This free presentation of the Academy Award nominated film “Loving Vincent” is sponsored by LCK and supported by the Lowell Film Council. Showing will be preceded by a conversation with Brian Hassett about the Van Gogh and Kerouac connection.
Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center. 246 Market Street.

6:30 p.m. Tour: Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night Tour with Roger Brunelle.
An evening walk through the streets of the Pawtucketville neighborhood where Jack spent his adolescent years, as he describes them in Doctor Sax and Maggie Cassidy. Readings will be offered at the cottages and tenements were Jack lived when he attended the Bartlett Junior High and Lowell High School, and includes a stop at the Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc Church where Jack saw a vision of the BEAT-ific Generation.
Begins at Cumnock Hall. UML North Campus. 1 University Avenue.

8:00 p.m. Paint Night.
A guided Paint Night where participants will attempt to emulate Jack’s Old Angel Midnight Over Lowell.
Upstairs at The Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.

8:00 p.m. Talk and Discussion: “Jack Beyond the Novel”
For those not taking part in Paint Night, this is an alternative offering. An open discussion of the many creations by Kerouac besides novels, including screenplays, poetry, biography (Wake Up), nonfiction (Some of the Dharma), journals, letters, albums, live performances, and paintings. Hosted by Kurt Phaneuf.
Downstairs at The Old Worthen. 141 Wprthen Street.

Monday, October 8th

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 cousin 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.
Leave from the Visitors Center of the Lowell National Historical Park. 246 Market Street.
Reservations at 978-970-5000. Donations gratefully accepted.

10:00 a.m. Loop Tour from the Kerouac Commemorative.
This walk goes from the Commemorative on Bridge Street to the St. Louis Church in Centreville, past the Kerouac homes and landmarks in Centralville and Pawtucketville, finishing at The Old Worthen Tavern. Led by Bill Walsh.

Last Call at the Worthen
Following the Loop Tour. Begins at approximately 2:00 pm—leaving time for the Loop Tour people to arrive.

The Graham Robinson Memorial Wrap Party!
As we close out the 2018 LCK Festival we’ll especially remember the delightful presence of Graham Robinson of Plymouth, England. He really loved these final gatherings, and he kept the drinks coming!
Sadly, we lost Graham shortly after last year’s festival, but his memory remains a joy.