Home Books Encyclopedia of Beat Literature

Encyclopedia of Beat Literature
  • Format
  • Authored by: Kurt Hemmer
  • From the Series: Literary Movements
  • Trim Size: 7-3/8 x 9-1/4
  • ISBN-10: 0816042977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-4297-5
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $75.00
  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 12/01/2006
  • Dewey Number: 810.9
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 416


Since the 1950s, the experimental style, bohemian life, and rebellious attitudes of the Beats have influenced literature and culture. Many Beat writers and their associates, such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Robert Creeley, and Kathy Acker, are now included in classroom anthologies, and continue to have popular appeal for their unorthodox writing style and anti-authoritarian point of view.

In an A-to-Z format, Encyclopedia of Beat Literature contains hundreds of entries on all the major figures and great works of the Beat movement. Contributors include distinguished Beat scholars and friends of the Beat generation, including the Beat poets Andy Clausen and Ed Sanders. Other features include a foreword by Ann Charters, an afterword by Tim Hunt, and photographs by the legendary Beat photographer Larry Keenan.

Coverage includes:

  • Synopses and critical analyses of fiction, poetry, and essays by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and other major Beat writers, with notes on background and critical reception
  • Women of the Beat generation: Hettie Jones, Joyce Johnson, and more
  • Family, friends, and associates of the Beats, including Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, and John Lennon.


Black-and-white photographs. Index. Bibliography. Cross-references.

About the Author(s)

Kurt Hemmer is a professor of English at Harper College who specializes in Beat literature. He wrote the award-winning documentaries As We Cover the Streets: Janine Pommy Vega and Rebel Roar: The Sound of Michael McClure, both produced by Tom Knoff.

Reviews and Awards

"...a welcome addition to a high school library’s literature collection. Recommended."
Library Media Connection

"...authoritative and well written..."
Library Journal

"The comprehensive entries in this [encyclopedia] create a complete reference for anyone wishing to understand the movement and its writers."
American Reference Books Annual

"...recommended for literature collections."

"...written in a succinct, informative, and user-friendly manner...an excellent resource..."
School Library Journal

"...provides a good foundation for entry-level study of the beat literary and cultural movement; its strength is the expertise of contributors...Recommended."

"...showcases the best minds of the Beat generation..."
Reference & Research Book News

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