11 November 2010

Call for Poetry/ Fiction/ Essays Inspired by the Spirit of the Female Beats

Post date: 11 November 2010
Deadline: 15 January 2011


Jack Kerouac defined the original “beat generation” in 1957 as “a generation of furtives…a weariness of all the forms, all the conventions of the world.” Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” ignited a controversy over freedom of speech and expression; the publisher was arrested but in 1957 the courts ruled the poem was not obscene.

Ginsberg and Kerouac, along with Charles Olson, William Burroughs and others are the usual Beat-writing mentionables; but what of the women of the group? The writings of Denise Levertov, Hettie Jones, Joyce Johnson, Anne Waldman, Joan Vollmer, Diane DiPrima, Jane Bowles and others during that time exhibit enlightening spirit and inventiveness in a way only the female spirit could.

“It’s true that the Beat movement was libratory—but not really for women. As one of the many young women who had fled to Greenwich Village in 1953 at the age of twenty seeking adventure, significance, and escape from a set of materialistic, conform­ist values, I knew first-hand that the popular view was mistaken. In fact, however stimu­lating and exciting it was to be in the midst of the new jazz, art, and poetry, it was every bit as oppressive to women and as dominat­ed by the feminine mystique and outright misogyny as square culture—and in some ways worse, since you weren’t allowed to complain. “ – “Women Writers in the Beat Generation” (KIAMANA, Alix Kates Shulman, 1993)

Lit Undressed invites you to submit your poetry, short-short fiction or essays (up to 200 words) inspired by the spirit of the women of the Beat movement. Selected works will be read during the next Lit Undressed performance at RNG Gallery in March live by nude figure models, by authors, or with excerpts painted by an artist on models’ bodies. Submit works to LitUndressed@yahoo.com by January 15. See www.facebook.com/LitUndressed for more information.

More information here.
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