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Anarchists, Beats and Dadaists By Jim Burns
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This seventh collection of essays and reviews kicks off with a survey of some overlooked British poets from the 1940s who, through a network of little magazines with anarchist inclinations, attempted... More > to offer an alternative to the MacSpaunDay generation’s sensibilities. Another piece considers how British writers were monitored by MI5 and local police forces, while a third switches attention to the USA and looks at the still-controversial case of Alger Hiss and his alleged role as a spy who passed information to Russia. There are essays about lesser-known Beat-related writers like Bob Kaufman and Brion Gysin, inspections of some little magazines of the 1950s and 1960s, and two long reviews which consider the effect that Dadaism had and the role played in the movement by Tristan Tzara. Walt Whitman, Woody Guthrie, and Malcolm Cowley also make an appearance.< Less
Radicals, Beats and Beboppers By Jim Burns
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A second volume of essays by Jim Burns dealing with American writers active between 1930 and 1960. Odets, Kerouac, Burroughs, Broyard, Clellan Holmes
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Jim Burns continues his critical history of off-beat writers, artists and jazz musicians of the last century. This is volume 4 of his acclaimed series of essays.
Paris, Painters, Poets By Jim Burns
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This eighth collection of reviews, essays, and other pieces takes Paris as its starting point, with essays about artists like Picasso and Soutine, a look at the existentialists, a consideration of... More > the role of the barricade in the various insurrections in the city, and the roles played by the photographer Nadar and the composer Offenbach in shaping images of the city both for its inhabitants and visitors. There are reviews of exhibitions by British painters, Sven Berlin, John Bratby, and Stanley Spencer, and of the work of American poets, Thomas McGrath, Lola Ridge, and William Wantling. The Beats get a look in with articles about little magazines that printed their work, and the effects of the blacklists in Hollywood are explored in several pieces. Jazz is represented with surveys of the music of Tony Fruscella and Willie Dennis, and the birth of rock and roll is explored. Other essays focus on the early days of communism in both Russia and America.< Less
Brits, Beats & Outsiders By Jim Burns
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A collection of essays on forgotten British writers of the 30s and 40s, American Beat writers and poets, and modern artists
Rebels, Beats and Poets By Jim Burns
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This sixth selection of essays and reviews looks at a whole list of writers, poets, political activists and others who can be claimed to be rebels in their various ways. The strange communist Joseph... More > Pogany or John Pepper, as he was known in America, is here, as is B. Traven, author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, in his earlier role as Ret Marut, a German revolutionary. There are essays about communism in Hollywood and about Henry Miller and the writing of The Tropic of Cancer. Beat novelists, bohemians in Paris and elsewhere, jazz musicians like Lester Young and Charlie Parker, surrealism in Prague, and the underground in Amsterdam, all take their place in this wide-ranging survey.< Less
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Essays on Beat and Bohemian writers, artists and Jazz musicians
Artists, Beats and Cool Cats By Jim Burns
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This fifth collection of essays and reviews ranges over a variety of subjects, some of them connecting to material in the earlier books. The Beats are an obvious example, though it’s perhaps... More > using the term loosely to link someone like Herbert Gold with them. But he did comment on the Beats in writing and perhaps saw himself as having had experiences which gave him insights into what Kerouac and Ginsberg and the others were doing. I’ve included a short piece about an obscure poet, Marty Matz, because it shows what fringe figures like him got up to. And Robert Reisner was someone who was on the fringes of the bohemian scene, though in a more productive way than Matz. It seems to me that people like Reisner ought to be remembered, if only in a short article. There are surveys of several little magazines, as there were in my previous collections. I’ve always thought that they deserve to be written about because of how they can often evoke a particular period better than a detached history can.< Less
Radiacls, Beats and Beboppers By Jim Burns
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This is the second volume of essays by Jim Burns, and like the first it deals mainly with American writers active from around 1930 to 1960 and a little beyond. Among the writers covered are Clifford... More > Odets, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Anatole Broyard, and John Clellon Holmes, together with a variety of left-wing authors and several poets and others associated with the Beat Generation. There are also essays about the abstract-expressionist painters and several jazz musicians. Jim Burns was born in 1936 and has been active as a poet, essayist, reviewer, and little-magazine editor for fifty years. His first collection of essays, Beats, Bohemians and Intellectuals, was published by Trent Books in 1990, and Laying Something Down: Poems 1962-2007 by Shoestring Press in 2007. His most recent volume of poetry is Streetsinger (Shoestring Press. 2010).< Less
Painting, Poetry, Politics By Jim Burns
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As in the previous collection, Paris has a place in this one, with re-views/essays about various artists, writers, expatriates, editors, and others who were in the city at one time or another. I have... More > to admit that I’m generally looking back in these pieces to the Paris of the 1890s or the 1920s, “golden periods”, as they’re called, though in a review of poets in translation I do briefly comment on a collection of more-contemporary French left-wing poets. I doubt that they will be familiar to most British poetry readers, and that seems to me a good reason for reviewing them in the first place, and reprinting the re-view in this book.< Less

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