Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Curation #43 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Heaven & Other Poems by Jack Kerouac

Item #43 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this copy of Jack Kerouac's Heaven & Other Poems. The latest copyright of this Grey Fox Press publication is shown on the copyright page as 1977. This page also indicates "Fifth printing, 1990." This copy is in good condition. It's a little book, 5" x 7-5/8", and is about 60 pages in length. The provenance is unknown.

Heaven & Other Poems is a poetry book edited by Don Allen. It consists of the 8-page poem, "Heaven," and a number of other poems. Allen, in his editor's note, says "This book belatedly collects the poems Jack sent me and his letters and statements regarding his verse." Interestingly, the frontispiece is a comic strip titled "Doctor Sax and the Sea Shroud" that Jack drew for the Cassady children. The book concludes with letters and statement that Jack sent to Allen between 1957 and 1962.

Some of these poems were published elsewhere (e.g., two choruses from "San Francisco Blues"). Others only appear, to my knowledge, in this publication. The letters and statements from Jack to Don Allen at the end are Kerouac gold, giving important insights into Jack's mindset in that particular time period. As we've said before on The Daily Beat, Jack was an accomplished poet as well as a prose writer; Heaven & Other Poems provides strong evidence of that.

Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (24th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Tristessa by Jack Kerouac.

Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf


Anonymous said...

Awesome article.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finally talking about >"Curation #43 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Heaven & Other Poems by Jack Kerouac" <Loved it!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!