Lowell Celebrates Kerouac 2019: A Preview

Greetings Friends of LCK!

Mark the dates now, if you haven’t already, for to 2019 annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival for October 10-14.

This year will be observing the 50th anniversary of Jack’s passing in October of 1969, and our Parker Lecturer, Nancy Fox, will offer her perspective on Kerouac’s literary and cultural legacy a half-century after he left us. And, at this year’s Commemorative at the Commemorative, the jazz group, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, will lead a jazz memorial parade through Kerouac Park in memory of Jack!

We will also be offering special remembrances of two very significant person’s in Jack’s life who passed away since our last gathering: Billy Koumentzalis and Al (“Big Ed Dunkel”) Hinkle.

The timeless David Amram and his trio will perform at Zorba’s on Friday night; and—back by popular demand!—Vance Gilbert with bring his musical and poetic magic to Zorba’s on Saturday night.

And, of course, they’ll be tours, open mics, a poetry workshop, art exhibits, special presentations by both Cathy (Silva) Cassady and Brian Hassett, and the annual Amram Jam on Sunday afternoon.

And stay tuned—there’s more to come!

Lodging Information: The U-Mass. Lowell Inn and Conference Center is pretty well booked already for an event they are hosting that weekend. We have made arrangements with Lowell’s Courtyard Marriott for lodging for LCK attendees this year. It’s off Exit 3 on the Lowell Connector, about a 10 minute drive to downtown Lowell. Free parking in Lowell at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center parking lot.

Room rates are $139.00 for a single and $159.00 for a double—plus taxes.

You can reserve by calling 800-321-2211 or 978-458-7575 and say you’re reserving through Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th Birthday

The Beat Museum in San Francisco is hosting a celebration for the 100th birthday of Lawrence Ferlinghetti throughout March 2019. For more information, see the Feb 25 email from The Beat Museum.

Also: we’re hosting a birthday party for Jack Kerouac here in Lowell on March 9, but The Beat Museum is hosting a a birthday bash in San Francisco on March 12.

Haunted Life Discussion Series

Students and Lowell community members are invited to read The Haunted Life book and participate in discussion with UML English faculty on the evenings of 13 February and 27 February 2019. Participants will also be invited to attend a dress rehearsal of the production at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre.

More information about The Haunted Life:

Notes from the 2018 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac festival

Hello all, here’s an update on LCK festival events over this past weekend. If you have any stories or pictures or videos you’d like to share from your time at the festival, please get in touch with us at info@lowellcelebrateskerouac.org.

Record numbers came out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the Jack Kerouac Commemorative in Kerouac Park on Bridge Street.. Speakers included Brian Foye, Richard Scott, city officials and others.

Record numbers also participated in the new downtown walking tour by Kurt Phaneuf, judge at Lowell High School Poetry Contest and of “Talking Jack” fame.

New venues that participated in the festival included Western Avenue Studios, Gormley’s Cafe, and Gallery Z.

Congratulations to the winners of Annual Lowell High School Poetry Contest:

  • 1st place: Nicholas Cardoso
  • 2nd place: Mablean Ntoro
  • Tie for 3rd place: Jessica Barra and Emily Rios

2018 LCK Festival – 4 to 8 October

The bus roared on. I was going home in October. Everybody goes home in October.

The 2018 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival will be held on 4 to 8 October in Jack’s hometown of Lowell. The initial schedule is posted at lowellcelebrateskerouac.org/festival.

Keep up with changes and additions by signing up for our mailing list or Facebook page. See you in the Mill City in October.

Starting March 15: Exhibit of LCK Festival Posters from 1988 to 2017

An opening reception for an exhibit of LCK Festival posters from 1988 to 2017 will be held at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation from 5:00 to 7:30pm on Thursday, March 17. GLCF is located on the second floor at 100 Merrimack St. in Lowell. The exhibit will run through May.

Please download and post a flier and invite others to attend. See you there.

Jack Kerouac’s “The Haunted Life” to Premiere in Author’s Hometown in Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Season

In a historic partnership, Kerouac’s “lost” novel will be developed into a world premiere stage adaptation by MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels for the 2018-19 Season

Lowell, MA—Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) announces the first work of its 2018-19 40th Season as a brand new adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s lost novel The Haunted Life. The novel was inspired by the author’s childhood and upbringing in Lowell, Massachusetts, and then thought lost. The recently discovered manuscript was put together with letters and outlines by Associate Professor of English at UMass Lowell Todd F. Tietchen, and published by Da Capo Press.

The Haunted Life novel will be adapted by MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels (whose play The White Chip was featured in MRT’s 2015-16 Season), and produced in collaboration with Jim Sampas, Literary Executor of the Estate of Jack Kerouac.

The Haunted Life will premiere at MRT with performances March 20 – April 14, 2019. Season subscriptions are available now at mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678; single tickets go on sale July 30, 2018.

The remaining six plays in MRT’s 2018-19 Season will be announced on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 6:00 pm, at an event at the theatre at 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell; it is free and open to the public.

“We’re thrilled to partner with MRT on this ground-breaking production,” said Jim Sampas, the Literary Executor of the Estate of Jack Kerouac. “A piece of his that couldn’t be more relevant and timely—and on top of that, we couldn’t pass up a chance to premiere an adaptation of Kerouac’s work in his hometown. We have several other Kerouac projects that we’ll be announcing in the near future—we’re excited that this will be one of many new efforts to introduce the distinctive voice of Jack Kerouac to a new generation.”

“It’s a daunting honor to bring Kerouac to the stage, in his hometown, down the street from his Park, in the same town where he’s buried.” said Daniels. “But it couldn’t be a more relevant story: what is the cost of war on the America dream? And how do we connect and learn to love people who different politic views from our own? Also, truly, nothing is more Lowell than premiering a new Kerouac adaptation at MRT.”

The production will be sponsored by Enterprise Bank, MRT’s longest-running corporate sponsor. “Enterprise Bank is proud of its 30 year history as a corporate sponsor of MRT, and in particular, its sponsorship of this season’s production of The Haunted Life by Lowell’s native son, Jack Kerouac,” said Alison M. Burns, Community Relations Officer, Senior Vice President. “Commitment to community is one of our founding core values and the work of MRT has a significant impact—both culturally and economically—on the communities we are so privileged to serve.”

The new adaptation will serve as the centerpiece of MRT’s 2018-19 Season, which is its 40th Anniversary Season, as well as a celebration of the City of Lowell that influenced the novel—a diverse and historic city whose support of the arts is made vividly clear in its motto: “Art is the Handmaid of Human Good.” The piece will also showcase the highly talented and diverse actors and designers MRT has become known for.

About The Haunted Life

As the country decides if it wants to enter the war, a father and son try to make peace at home.

Set in Lowell, Massachusetts, young Peter Martin must decide whether to listen to his conservative father who believes the Democratic President (Roosevelt) is corrupt and flooding the country with immigrants or whether he wants to follow his own youthful thinking or perhaps just escape it all and join the merchant marines. Full of Kerouac’s gorgeous and poetic prose, The Haunted Life asks us all which road we are going down.

“He realizes that you can’t go home again. He realizes that the fires of new life spring from the ashes of the old: It means enough to him to induce efforts on his part to make a new life, of his own shaping. The world he was given (the summer trees, the high school, the sports, the lemonade on the circus grounds) was a good world, but it faded, as all worlds do, and faded rapidly as they do in war, and now, the peculiarly haunted life of Peter Martin, he must make his own.” —Jack Kerouac

The Haunted Life will mark MRT’s second time producing the work of Jack Kerouac. In October 2012, MRT presented a staged reading of Kerouac’s only work written for the stage, Beat Generation, as part of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s “Jack Kerouac Literary Festival.” Beat Generation ran for eight performances and received national attention, including a review from Rolling Stone.

About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet. Kerouac was born and raised in Lowell, MA, before moving to New York City, where he became a founding member of the Beat Generation, the literary movement of the 1950s and 1960s which embraced non-conformity, exploration, and freedom across cultural, social, and religious lines. His debut novel The Town and the City was published in 1950. He is best known for his novel On the Road, published in 1957, which was adapted into a feature film in 2012. Kerouac died in 1969 at the age of 47. He is buried in Lowell, MA. To learn more about the Estate of Jack Kerouac, visit www.kerouacproductions.com and www.jackkerouac.com.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979 and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. MRT produces vibrant, contemporary plays that explore what it means to be alive today. A seven-show season runs from September through May in the intimate 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre. The company is known as a leader in producing new plays, especially world and regional premieres. MRT is one of 72 theatres nationwide (one of three in Massachusetts) with membership in LORT (the League of Resident Theatres).

Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678