When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School. William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Anne Waldman.
When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School

When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School

ISBN: 0060005661
New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 2004. First Edition. Hardcover. As a restless kid on Long Island, Sam Kashner lapped up the beauty and madness of the Beats, living vicariously through the novels, poems, and stories of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Their words were revolutionary, and they turned their very lives into art. Kashner didn't want to just study the Beats, he wanted to be one of them. So when he heard that Ginsberg had founded an unconventional writing program in Boulder, Colorado, he convinced his parents that college could wait, and became the first certificate student of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics...Kashner brings us a funny, touching, and irreverent portrait of the Beats never before seen: one that explodes the myths surrounding these American icons, but one that is also deeply felt and full of admiration. After reading this book, you'll never look at the Beats in quite the same way again." (from front & rear flaps) A fascinating memoir by Sam Kashner, an acclaimed nonfiction, novel & article writer for such prestigious magazines as Vanity Fair. Beginning in the summer of 1976, as the USA celebrated its Bicentennial, Kashner began an apprenticeship among his Beat Generation idols as the first, & at first the only, registered student of the Kerouac School at the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) founded by Allen Ginsberg & Anne Waldman. He describes his wonderful, stranger-than-fiction true adventures with William S. Burroughs, Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Waldman et al., along with their legendary cohorts & offspring including WSB's doomed son Billy, Ginsberg's life companion Peter Orlovsky, & many others. Hard cover in dust jacket, first edition, first printing as indicated on copyright page. This copy is from the library of poet-publisher-educator Ken Mikolowski, who with his wife, the late Ann, founded & conducted the Alternative Press in Detroit & later Grindstone City, Michigan. The Press printed broadsides, chapbooks & myriad ephemera by primary figures of the Beat Generation (including their friend Ginsberg), the Black Mountain & New York Schools, etc.- all of which are now rare collectibles. Included loosely here are two newspaper articles cut & placed between front cover & endpaper by Mikolowski, where we have kept them: The original (& rather enthusiastic & laudatory) review of this book by Janet Maslin in the New York Times issue of February 5, 2004 (what would have been WSB's 90th birthday); & an article from the February 24, 2004 issue of USA Today regarding an educational-political topic not related to the book. An affectionate, poignant & insightful chronicle of the great surviving members of the Beat Generation in their waning middle age, from a very young acolyte's perspective; & a desirable collectible with distinguished provenance & ephemera. Book in very fine condition with only light, sparse rubbing, staining & spotting to edges of text block; tiny bumps at corners of a few page leaves; otherwise all but mint inside & out. Unclipped dust jacket in very fine condition with only very mild rubbing & scratching to front, back covers & spine; lightest wear & a few tiny bumps & creases to edges & corners of same; price sticker of previous seller (Shaman Drum Bookshop, founded by our beloved late mentor & inspiration, the great Karl Pohrt) at lower area of back cover. Newspaper articles in fine condition: NYT article folded into four sections & cut somewhat roughly; very slight loss of text in small section of right column not really effecting legibility. USA Today article also cut roughly but intact. Very Fine / Very fine. [Item #3210]

Price: $20.00