Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all the readers of Beatdom magazine. 2009 was a kind year to us. We have successfully built upon our fanbase, passed the two year milestone since our founding in 2007, and we have continued to grow and change.

As we move into 2010 and towards our third anniversary, Beatdom is still changing. We are developing and finding new writers; attempting to make literature as significant and inventive today as it was when the Beats were in their heyday.

January will see the release of the fifth issue of Beatdom magazine, which will be followed closely by number six, a travel issue. If we continue to receive excellent submissions, we will probably release a seventh issue shortly after that.

As always, Beatdom remains a non-profit organization dedicated to the memory of the Beats and to the continuation of their legacy. We need all your support in this endeavour. I trust that 2010 will see our fans as loyal as ever.

Please follow our Twitter page, our MySpace and our Facebook group. And as always, please keeping checking the website.

I hope you all have a great New Year!

David S. Wills,



Friday, 18 December 2009

The New Beatdom

The Beat Generation is something people have trouble in defining. The participating members often later contested the name and their role within the group, and if we’re being strict and specific about it, one could boil the group down to a handful of writers.

More than that, the Beat Generation was an ethos. The Beats embodied a spirit that was created in reaction to their surroundings. They existed at a specific place in time and probably would not have existed elsewhere.

People become confused about who the Beats were. They might know a few names and facts, but often the word “Beat” or “Beatnik” is applied incorrectly.

Beatdom began as a literary journal devoted to the study of the Beat Generation. However, it has changed since then. Today more than 95% of submissions for Beatdom are poetry or short fiction. Also, the bulk of our fan mail is in praise of our poets and fiction writers.

It seems that our readers consider themselves modern Beatniks…

Which as I’ve noted is a silly notion. We are not Beatniks. We are something different. As the Beats recognised their influences, so shall we. We shall hold Ginsberg as our inspiration as he held Blake.

We can take their ethos and change it and apply it and become something significant in ourselves. The Beats sought to make their own special place in a cold, unforgiving world, and that is an important message. They sought to reveal their souls through their art, and that is something we can do.

We are not part of the Beat Generation. We may perhaps be a New Beat Generation or Beatdom Generation, but we are something different from our predecessors

And so Beatdom magazine will be different from our original ideas. We will no longer devote the majority of our pages to studies of the past, but instead focus on tying the past, the present and the future together with the Beat ethos.

Beatdom will publish more modern poetry and fiction, and help advance the cause of literature today.

In doing this, we need the help of our readers and contributors, so please see our new submission guidelines. .

Monday, 14 December 2009

On Green Publishing

When Beatdom was first published in the summer of 2007, we made sure that our magazine was an innovation in green publishing. We didn’t want to cut down trees to make magazines that no one wanted to buy, so we made Beatdom a print-on-demand operation.

Print-on-demand is not exactly the most popular option for publishing magazines. For one thing, it pushes printing costs higher. For another it brings with it the stigma of an ill-conceived, under-edited vanity operation.

But print-on-demand allows our readers to purchase a copy of Beatdom whenever they wish, anywhere in the world, simply by using the internet. Our magazine has maintained its professional standards, ultimately pushing the boundaries of print-on-demand publishing. We don’t believe that damaging the environment is necessary to prove that you have a quality product.

Furthermore, we are very much aware of the sensitive issue of price. Beatdom is an expensive magazine and we wish it wasn’t. In an ideal world it would be free, but we have to pay the printers. What we don’t do, however, is take a cut for ourselves. The editors and writers of Beatdom are unpaid. This is a non-profit organization.

Beatdom is available for free online – through Lulu, through our website, and through Google Books. We don’t make aim to make money – we just want people to read and enjoy our product without hurting the Earth.

If you like what you read online, we encourage you to buy a copy of Beatdom. But we won't stock our magazines in stores and let the trees that made them go to waste. When you are finished with Beatdom, we invite you to share your copy with your friends and family.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Tropic of Cancer Quotes

Sorry for not posting much on here, folks, but I’ve been a busy man. Issue Five is coming along nicely and I’ll keep you updated, but for now here are a few quotes from Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. I know it’s random, but they knocked me over as so damn brilliant I just had to share them.

When the tide is on the ebb and only a few syphilitic mermaids are left stranded in the much, and Dome looks like a shooting gallery that’s been struck by a cyclone. P161

There is a bone in my prick six inches long. I will ream out every wrinkle in your cunt… I will send you home… with an ache in your belly and your womb turned inside out… He knows how to build a fire, but I know how to inflame a cunt… I shoot hot bolts into you… I make your ovaries incandescent… I have set the shores a little wider, I have ironed out the wrinkles. After me you can take on stallions, bulls… I am fucking you… so that you’ll stay fucked. P.5

Friday, 23 October 2009

HST for Beginners

Beatdom is honoured to present "HST for Beginners" over at Several Hunter Thompson scholars and friends have gathered to offer their views of the separation of Hunter Thompson from his alter-ego, Raoul Duke.
This blog post marks a significant moment in the history of Gonzo. We are aiming to gather new fans, and to inform previous readers of Thompson's work of its true importance.
Hunter Thompson was, first and foremost, a serious writer. He deserves respect and a place in the canon of American literature. Hopefully this project will help him be remember the way he would have wanted - as a great writer, rather than a frat boy's hero.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Remembering Jack Kerouac

Forty years ago today (October 21st), Jack Kerouac died. Let’s celebrate his life by remembering the contributions he made to literature.

The fourth issue of Beatdom magazine was released earlier this year, but was a special Kerouac themed magazine, in celebration of the author’s life. We looked various books and poems by Kerouac, and considered his life and ancestry.

Issue Four is free to read online through Google Books or download. Or, if you want a printed copy, you can have that, too.

Let’s all remember Kerouac in his prime, as he wanted – as a truly great writer.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Paul Maher Jr. vs. Gerald Nicosia

A battled was fought in the wake of the Kerouac Estate verdict and that battle is was waged on the forum at Literary Kicks...

Paul Maher Jr. and Gerald Nicosia were fighting with vitriolic words over several issues relating to Jack Kerouac... Check it out and weigh in at

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A Beginners Guide to Hunter Thompson

The wonderful Martin Flynn at HSTbooks is honouring the late, great Hunter S. Thompson as he deserves to be honoured, by introducing a new generation of readers to the more serious side of the man's work.

"The aim will be to catch folks new to the HST world and steer them in the direction of his writing talent and away from the crazed loony side of the man."

A selection of scholars and friends will contribute to a series of blogs which will expose the truth behind the madness and the skill behind the free-wheeling and frantic prose.

Thompson always wanted his work to be taken seriously, and lamented that his books were popular largely among frat-boy types. He was known in his time for the wild excess of his alter-ego, and not for his intelligence or literary abilities.

It’s time for people to realise his genius, and this series should help to introduce his work in the right way so that he can truly be read as he intended.

Read about it here:

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Ginsberg & HST: Now in Skin Format

Ok, I'm a book nerd. You know this, I know this, let's get over it... I have two tattoos and both of them are nerdy bookish things... See below...

This is my newest tattoo and isn't a great photo. I had it done in Daegu, S. Korea, and it reads: "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness". Makes a great lesson starter for my kids. "Teacher, everyone is crazy?" "Yes, Little Timmy, they are all fucking batshit bonkers!"

This is my first tattoo. Again, the photo sucks. It looks better after all these months in the sun, strangely. It's Hunter Thompson's Gonzo Fist emblem and it's my simple way of wearing what I believe on my skin. I don't care about all the madness and drugs and such... I care about the truth and dignity of his goals as a writer.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Wayne Ewing's Vodcast

My old friend and Hunter S. Thompson documentarian, Wayne Ewing, has started up a vodcast on his website -

Ewing directed ‘Breakfast with Hunter’, ‘Free Lisl’ and ‘When I Die’, and was Thompson’s friend, neighbor, and chosen biographer for many, many years. His films have continued the legacy of a great American writer, offering visual images that help animate the letters and books that made Thompson famous.

Now Ewing has a vlog (I’m not sure what that means, but I like it…) that offers text, images and videos combined to explain moments in the later stages of the life of Hunter Thompson.

I suggest, nay, demand, you go and visit the vlog at:

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Call for Papers

Whitman & The Beats

March 26-28 2010

St. Francis College Brooklyn, NY

The English and Communication Arts Departments at St. Francis College calls for papers that celebrate the influence of Walt Whitman on Beat writers including but not limited to Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac.

We seek papers that break new ground in addressing Whitman's presence in the works of Beat writers, the reception of Whitman's poetry by the Beats, and papers which address how the legacy of the Beats, their perspectives of their era and artistic innovations, may be traced to Whitman’s influence on American literary culture. Topics may include (but are not limited to) areas of inquiry such as “the road”, “gender and sexuality”, “mysticism”, “religion and spirituality”, “America”, and “transcendentalism”. Examples of possible papers include (but, again, are not limited to)

“The Beats and the Search for Authenticity”

“Forging a New American Language”

“The Spontaneous Yawp: "New" Writing Styles in Whitman and the Beats”

“Cultural Minutia Found in Whitman and the Beats”

“Whitman's and the Beats use of New York City”

“The Beat's (Sub)Consious Rewriting of Whitman”

“Whose America? The Idea of a Nation in Whitman and the Beats”

“Homosexuality in the Beats and Whitman”

“War in Whitman and the Beats”

“Poetry for (and about) the People”

“Autobiographical Influences in the Poetry of Ginsberg and Whitman”

“Not Ready for Prime Time: the “Forgotten” Works of Whitman and the Beats”

“Nationalistic Drum Banging in Whitman and the Beats”

To submit, please send a 500-word abstract to Dr. Scott Weiss at by January 31, 2010. Finished papers should be 8-10 pages, capable of being read in 20 minutes or less. Please note on your abstract your technological needs for your presentation.



Scott Weiss, PhD

Department of Communication Arts

St Francis College

180 Remsen St

Brooklyn Heights NY 11201

718 489 3487

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Issue Five

Issue Five is currently in the pipeline... We've signed up two pieces of fiction, and that's about enough for that category. Now we need articles and poetry. And maybe a photo or two.

I have interviews scheduled with several members of the team behind the new movie, 'Howl', starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.

This issue will also need a lot of work on the life of William Burroughs, whose 'Naked Lunch' turns 50 yrs old this year!

It would be nice if we could get more into some literary analysis, following the brilliance of our Issue Four articles.

So, visit for more info, or e-mail me at

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Happy Birthday, Charles Bukowski!

Today would have been Buk's birthday... He'd have been 89 years old...

Let's all knock back a few beers, read a poem or two, and reflect upon the Dirty Old Man's Dirty Old Life.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Beatdom Now


I want to start a second magazine - a sister publication for Beatdom. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, but Beatdom is a cruel mistress. She demands more attention than I can normally afford, and a second magazine might just kill me... But it might just make me, you and our readers all a little happier... It might just make the world a brighter place.

I want to depart from the world of the Beat Generation and focus on the world around us. Beatdom has always claimed to be both a study of the Beat Generation - literary, historical, cultural - but also professed an interest in exploring the world around us through the messages set forth by Ginsberg, Kerouac et al. We've published rants and musings on the modern world, and explored the reincarnations of the Beat Generation, through our new fiction and non-fiction.

And Beatdom will continue to do all that. It's not changing. Issue Five will follow in the style is the first four, and be entirely unaffected by the publication of Beatdom Now.

What I want from Beatdom Now is to take our regular writers and readers, and maybe a little of the style, and simply forget all our heroes. Beatdom is a literary journal. We explore the past. But in Beatdom Now we will take the stylistic teachings, and moral messages, and just be journalists...

That may sound strange, because Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs etc etc were not journalists. In fact, during the heyday of the Beat Generation they weren't even particularly interested in the politics of the world - they wanted to take refuge and carve out a space for themselves.

But we are taking style and morals from the Beats, as well as from Hunter S. Thompson and other late twentieth century writers and artists. I want to publish creative non-fiction that is dedicated to the destruction of injustice, and the dissipation of illusions. I want to read the sort of thing you wouldn't find in all the biased, dumb popular press outlets.

I know Gonzo was a one man genre, and that people look foolish for taking too much inspiration from Thompson's work, but that needn't be the case. Take an intelligent look, and write your own report on the world. Forget drink, drugs and parody; remember truth, skill and sledgehammer vitriol.

Let's change the world with another adventurous assault on the publishing world.

Submissions are now open for Issue One, with no deadline currently given... Find something in this world that makes you sick, and use your words to destroy it.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Jack Kerouac's Estate

I suggest you all Google 'Jack Kerouac Estate' and look at the news...

Thirteen years after the death of his daughter, Jan Kerouac, the estate of Jack Kerouac has finally been liberated from the wrongful ownership of the Sampas family. It was determined by a judge that Gabriel Kerouac's will, which passed control of Kerouac's estate to his third wife, Stella, was forged.

That means that the millions of dollars of revenue, as well as the right to control Kerouac's estate, passes to Paul Blake Jr., Kerouac's nephew and closest living relative.

Jan Kerouac always said that his works should be given to libraries, but the Sampas family had turned down numerous such offers. Now we wait and see what Blake decides to do.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Issue Four Release

Issue Four

This issue marks the Fortieth Anniversary of Kerouac's death with articles about his life and work, covering subjects you've never even thought about. We also have plenty about the women of the Beat Generation - including an 'interview' with Carolyn Cassady. Our poetry section is better than ever, with poems by our favourite poet, Nathan Dolby, and hip hop star Scroobius Pip! We have the return of old writers, and many new ones to mark an incredible era in the magazine's history. We're everywhere right now, and to capitalise on this period of fame, we're going to make Issue Four the best issue ever!

As usual, Beatdom is free to download. So, whether you wish to buy a copy or download one, please visit this link.


Letters from the Editor
Notes on Contributors
Modern Beat
HST & The Beats: Fleeting Encounters
Jack Kerouac’s Visions of Gerard
Joan Vollmer: In the Eyes of her Contemporaries
Beats & the Sixties Counterculture
Alene Lee: Subterranean Muse
The Sea is my Brother, by Jack Kerouac
Kerouac & The Outsider: A Puzzle
The Breton Traveller
The Plurarity of the Beat Spirituality
Carolyn Cassady
Gary Snyder
Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway
review No Country for Old Men
Required Reading
Fiction/ Art/ Memoirs
Woodcuttings of the Beats
First Encounters with Allen Ginsberg
The Gun and the New Dark Way
Deep Fried Ducktape and Sushi Knives

Jack & Edward

Thursday, 23 July 2009

The Good Doctor

Beatdom #4 will be delayed until the scum who keep fucking with our website are murdered. Seriously. Go kill the fuckers and let me know, then you'll get your goodies... The magazine's ready, but without a website there's just no way to put it out!


But on a lighter note, I stumbled across this article from the New York Times Book Blog, which normally sucks, but which has given us maybe two good HST articles...

Here's the second one, folks...

Monday, 20 July 2009


Two days before the release of Issue Four of Beatdom magazine, some degenerate scumbag rat has hacked and crashed the website.

Needless to say, that pretty much fucks our whole gameplan... If you know who did this, tell me. I will go to their house and cut their fucking head off.

In the meantime, I will be working around the clock to get the website back online, and trying to finish up editing together the last pieces of the issue.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson!

Today is 18th July, which Hunter S. Thompson's birthday.

I hope people all around the world are filling their glasses, dropping their tabs of acid, and lighting their fat joints in a shared memory of one of the finest writers of the 20th Century!

More than that, we should all take a scathing look at the world around us and trying to write some searing indictments of the world that is run by fat, crooked swine. Don't let the bastards get away with this!

If you're in a more scholarly mood, I've posted an article about Hunter S. Thompson's relationship to the Beat Generation on the Beatdom website. Read it here:

Anyway, enjoy the day. It's what he would have wanted you to do.



Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Hunter S. Thompson & the Beats

There's an article available online that is a sneak preview of what's coming in Issue Four of Beatdom!

You can view the article at

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Johnny Depp Remembers Allen Ginsberg

A big thanks goes to HST Books (at for this great piece by the legendary Johnny Depp. Here, he remembers his friend and idol, Allen Ginsberg.

I love Johnny Depp, by the way. He's about the coolest person on the planet.


The Night I met Allen Ginsberg. By Johnny Depp.

An appreciation of Kerouac, Burroughs, Cassady and the other bastards who ruined my life.

Depp Gins

There I was, age thirteen, eyes shut tight, listening intently to Frampton Comes Alive over and over again, as some kind of pubescent mantra that helped to cushion the dementia of just how badly I wanted to whisk Bambi, the beautiful cheerleader, away from the wedge of peach melba that was the handsome, hunky football hero. …

I was daydreaming of taking her out behind the 7-Eleven to drink Boone’s Farm strawberry-apple wine and kiss until our mouths were raw. ZZZZRRRIIIPP!! was the sound I heard that ripped me from that tender moment. My brother Danny, ten years my senior and on the verge of committing fratricide, having had more than enough of “Do you feel like we do?,” promptly seized the vinyl off record player and with a violent heave chucked the sacred album into the cluttered abyss of my room.

“No more,” he hissed. “I can’t let you listen to that shit anymore!”

I sat there snarling at him in that deeply expressive way that only teens possess, decompressing too fast back into reality. He grabbed a record out of his own collection and threw it on.

“Try this … you’re better than that stuff. You don’t have to listen to that shit just ’cause other kids do.”

“OK, fucker,” I thought, “bring it on … let’s have it!”

The music started … guitar, fretless stand-up bass, flutes and some Creep pining away about venturing “in the slipstream … between the viaducts of your dreams. …” “Fuck this,” I thought, “this is pussy music — they’re not even plugged in! Those guitars aren’t electric!” The song went a bit further: “Could you find me … would you kiss my eyes … to be born again. …” The words began to hit home; they didn’t play that kind of stuff on the radio, and as the melody of the song settled in, I was starting to get kind of used to it. Shit! I even liked it. It was a sound I hadn’t really ever given any attention to before, because of my innate fear of groups like America, Seals and Crofts, and, most of all, the dreaded Starland Vocal Band. I didn’t give half a fuck about a horse with no name, summer breezes or afternoon delights! I needed space to be filled!!! Filled with sound … distorted guitars, drums, feedback and words … words that meant something … sounds that meant something!

I found myself rummaging and rooting wildly through my brother’s record collection as if it were a newfound treasure, a monumental discovery that no one — especially no one my age — could know about or understand. I listened to it all! The soundtracks to A Clockwork Orange and Last Tango in Paris, Bob Dylan, Mozart and Brahms … the whole shebang! I couldn’t get enough. I had become like some kind of junky for the stuff and in turn became a regular pain in the ass to my brother. I wanted to know all that he did. I wanted to know everything that rotten white-bread football brute didn’t. I was preparing to woo that fantastic little rah-rah girl out of the sunlight of the ice cream parlor and into my nocturnal adolescent dreamscape.

And so began my ascension (or descension) into the mysteries of all things considered Outside. I had burrowed too deep into the counterculture of my brother’s golden repository, and as years went by he would turn me on to other areas of his expertise, sending me even further into the dark chasm of alternative learning.

One day he gave me a book that was to become like a Koran for me. A dogeared paperback, roughed up and stained with God knows what. On the Road, written by some goofball with a strange frog name that was almost unpronounceable for my teenage tongue, had found its way from big brother’s shelf and into my greedy little paws. Keep in mind that in all my years of elementary school, junior high and high school, possibly the only things I’d read up to that point were a biography of Knute Rockne, some stuff on Evel Knievel and books about WW II. On the Road was life-changing for me, in the same way that my life had been metamorphosed when Danny put Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks onto the turntable that day.

I was probably about fifteen by this time, and the cheerleader had begun to fade from my dreams. I didn’t need her now. I needed to wander … whenever and wherever I wanted! I’d found myself at the end of my rope as far as school was concerned; there seemed no particular reason for me to stay. The teachers didn’t want to teach, and I didn’t want to learn — from them. I wanted my education to come from living life, getting out there in the world, seeing and doing and moving amongst the other vagabonds who had the same sneaking suspicion that I did, that there would be no great need for high-end mathematics, nope. … I was not going to be doing other people’s taxes and going home at 5:37 P.M. to pat my dog’s head and sit down to my one-meat-and-two-vegetable table waiting for Jeopardy to pop on the glass tit, the Pat Sajak of my own private game show, in the bellybutton of the universe, Miramar, Florida. A beautiful life, to be sure, but one I knew I was destined not to have, thanks to big brother Dan and the French-Canadian with the name Jack Kerouac.

I had found the teachers, the soundtrack and the proper motivation for my life. Kerouac’s train-of-thought writing style gave great inspiration for a train-of-thought existence — for better or for worse. The idea to live day to day in a “true pedestrian” way, to keep walking, moving forward, no matter what. A sanctified juggernaut.

Through this introduction to Kerouac, I then learned of his fellow conspirators Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso, Huncke, Cassady and the rest of the unruly lot. I dove into their world full on and sponged up as much as I possibly could of their works. The Howl of Ginsberg left me babbling like an idiot, stunned that someone could regurgitate such honesty to paper. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch sent me into fits of hysterical laughter, with the imagery of talking assholes and shady reptilian characters looming, always not far behind. Cassady’s The First Third rants on beatifically like a high-speed circular saw. The riches I was able to walk away with from these heroes, teachers and mentors are not available in any school that I’ve ever heard of. Their infinite wisdom and hypersensitivity were their greatest attributes and in some cases –as I believe it was with Kerouac — played a huge part in their ultimate demise.

I had the honor of meeting and getting to know Allen Ginsberg for a short time. The initial meeting was at a soundstage in New York City, where we were both doing a bit in the film The United States of Poetry. I was reading a piece from Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, the “2nth Chorus,” and as I was rehearsing it for camera, I could see a familiar face out of the corner of my eye: “Fuck me,” I thought, “that’s Ginsberg!” We were introduced, and he then immediately launched into a blistering rendition of said chorus, so as to show me the proper way for it to be done.

“As Jack would have done it!” he emphasized.

I was looking straight down the barrel at one of the most gifted and important poets of the twentieth century, and with all the truth and guts I could muster up, I said in response, “Yeah, but I’m not reading it as him, I’m reading it as me. It’s my interpretation of his piece.”

Silence — a LONNNGG silence. Ticktock tickrock ticktock

I was smiling nervously, my eyes sort of wavering between his face and the floor. I sucked down about half of my 5,000th cigarette of the day in one monster drag and filled the air around us with my poison. It was at that point that I remembered his “Don’t Smoke!” poem … oops … too fucking late now, boy, you done stepped in shit! I looked at Ginsberg, he looked at me, and the director looked at us both as the crew looked at him, and it was quite a little moment, for a moment there. Allen’s eyes squinted ever so slightly and then began to twinkle like bright lights. He smiled that mystic smile, and I felt as though God himself had forgiven me a dreadful sin.

After the shoot, we took a car back to his apartment on the Lower East Side and had some tea. He was gracious enough to speak to me about the early years with Kerouac, Cassady and the others. We spoke of many things, from the cost of a limo ride to the high-pitched voice of Oscar Wilde; he actually had a recording of Wilde reading The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He flirted unabashedly and nonstop for the duration of my visit, even allowing me to smoke, as long as I sat next to the kitchen window and exhaled in that direction. He kindly signed a book to me and a couple of autographs (one for my brother, of course), and then I made my way back to the hotel, only to have already received a call from him, inviting me to some kind of something or other.

From that day forward, we stayed in touch with each other over the next few years and even spent time together from time to time. Our communication continued until our final conversation, which was just three days before he passed on. He called me to say that he was dying, and that it would be nice to see each other again before he checked out. He was so calm and so peaceful about it that I had to ask how he felt given this situation. He gracefully said that it was like a ripple on a sea of tranquillity. He then cried a little, as did I; he said, “I love you,” and so did I. I told him I would get to New York as soon as possible, and fuckin’ A, I was gonna go — the call came only days later.

Ginsberg was a great man, like his old pals, who had paved the way for many, and many more to come. The contribution of these people goes way beyond their own works. Without On the Road, Howl or Naked Lunch, for example, would we have been blessed with the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and Bob Dylan? Or countless other writers and poets of that caliber who were born in the Fifties and Sixties? Where would we be without modern classics like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or The Times They Are A-Changin’?

So much has happened to me in the twenty years since I first sat down and took that long drag on Kerouac’s masterpiece. I have been a construction laborer, a gas-station attendant, a bad mechanic, a screen printer, a musician, a telemarketing phone salesman, an actor, and a tabloid target — but there’s never been a second that went by in which I deviated from the road that ol’ Jack put me on, via my brother. It has been an interesting ride all the way — emotionally and psychologically taxing — but a mother-fucker straight down the pike. And I know that without these great writers’ holy words seared into my brain, I would most likely have ended up chained to a wall in Camarillo State Hospital, zapped beyond recognition, or dead by misadventure.

So in the end, what can anyone … scholar, professor, student or biographer … really say about these angels and devils who once walked among us, though maybe just a bit higher off the ground?

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Issue Four Cover

Here is a sneak previous of Issue Four's cover. This is very preliminary, but the final version will look a little like this...

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Price Change

Apparently Beatdom has been selling so well that the publishers have cut our prices! Of course, it's still a non-profit venture for me, but it's nice to see the publishers take a smaller cut.

There's never been a better time to buy Beatdom!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Google Books

All three issues of Beatdom are now freely available on Google Books! I don't know how they got there, but it's pretty cool. You don't have to download the magazine or even visit our site. Just go to Google Books and you can read Beatdom and search through each magazine. 

Here's the link for Issue One.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Beatdom Available on Amazon

Beatdom has been selected as a special publication by its publishers. This is probably because we've sold so many copies, so I must thank everyone who has bought, downloaded or stolen Beatdom at some point in the last two years. 

Now, as a special publication, we are listed on Amazon,com. I know this is a pretty standard thing in this day and age, but for a small literary magazine, that's actually quite an achievement. 

Here's the link: Issue One and Issue Two

Unfortunately, the price of Beatdom on Amazon will be higher than elsewhere, but it is still non-profit. The publishers take their cut, Amazon take theirs (30%!) and we take nothing. However, you can still download the magazine for free through our website.

Issue Four thus bodes well, with a much better platform for distribution. So get on board by sending your submissions quickly.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Update, May 20th

Beatdom is moments away from rolling over the 5,000 page views for its website, only a month after hitting 4,000. With that increase in traffic, we've managed to sell around 100 copies of the magazine, making this the fastest month of sales since our first month in business. Beatdom is finding new fans at a great rate, and we're working hard on getting Issue Four ready for publication. To celebrate our recent good form, we've invested in an ISBN and a place on so that we can be bought more easily (but still remain non-profit, of course). That means you can grab a hard copy faster than ever before, while still reading the online version for free at our website. We're also being viewed as required reading in universities, and considered among the worlds foremost resources regarding the Beat Generation. So if you want to jump on the bandwagon of popularity and help make Issue Four the best ever, getting writing about the Beats, and e-mail us at

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Issue Four

Issue Three was a great success, and riding on that wave, Beatdom is rushing forth the next issue. We made you wait too long for Issue Three, and now we'll make it up to you. Issue Four is scheduled to appear within three months! That's a quarter of the time it took to release issue Three...

Issue Four has so far lined up the following selection of brilliant Beat studies...

  • The search for Kerouac's roots
  • Hunter S. Thompson & The Beats
  • Gary Snyder's poetry
  • A look at Alene Lee
  • The changing lines in Kerouac's poetry
  • The next instalment of Modern Beat
  • An interview with Larry Keenan

But we need more... Issue Four needs submissions, so please see for the details.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Beatdom Archives

It's been a while since we started archiving our old articles, but it's still slowly coming along... Today we added the interviews from our first issue - Barry Gifford, Zane Kesey, Ken Babbs and Paul Krassner. Those were some great interviews, a wealth of information passed on to a new generation.

We've got about half the first issue archived, some of the second, and the main feature from issue three - the guide to Kerouac's characters. They're all free, online and easy to access at our archives.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Kerouac in SLO

I recently found this brilliant article about Jack Kerouac's time in San Luis Obispo, back in 1953. That was the town where I spent several months editing issue two of Beatdom, and used as my base for conduting interviews and research from San Francisco to Denver. I had NO IDEA that Kerouac actually stayed in that glorious little place.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

We're Back

Sorry for the delay, folks, but after more than a year of waiting, Issue Three of Beatdom is finally here. 

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Letter from the Editor

Dear Patient Readers,

It’s been a long year of constant change since Beatdom last made a foray into the public domain. Since then I’ve been doing my best to keep the magazine in the minds and hearts of its fans, but that hasn’t been easy without something for them to read…

It was February 2008 when Issue Two hit the proverbial newsstands, and now we’re in a whole new year. In that time much has happened.

Firstly there was Beatdom’s first ever public display, as we were asked to appear at Scotland’s nation poetry festival, StAnza. In typical form, your humble editor forgot about the event until the night before, when he was playing a gig with a local band, and together, he and the band spent the post-gig night both partying and making posters. We were late to the festival, but still put on a display, selling out our stock and drawing much interest for the magazine and its website.

Ah, the website. has kept the magazine alive in the absence of any creative endeavour on the part of the staff. Through our high Google rankings, Beatdom has maintained a strong internet presence that has ensured a steady flow of fan mail and submissions. I can honestly say that without these, Beatdom would have faded into history.

But the reason for this lack of productivity and creativity was the increase of activity in my own life. In Scotland I was unemployed and partially employed, and constantly had time to write. But with no money and no job prospects, I was forced to emigrate to South Korea. I took a job teaching in a small hagwon in Daegu, and have been here ever since.

Life in Korea has been too hectic to facilitate much writing. The hours are long and the alcohol is cheap, and consequently I found myself not sleeping for five months, but instead working from 10am to 8pm, and drinking from 8pm to 5am, six or seven nights a week. No writing, no Beatdom.

When holidays came, I vanished across the seas again – to the Philippines, to Japan, to China. In 2007 I toured American like Kerouac, and in 2008 I hit Asia like Ginsberg and Snyder. Maybe one day I’ll get to Latin America like Burroughs…

Constantly the fan mail and submissions kept rolling in, and I realised that I had a duty to the fanbase I had established with the first two magnificent instalments. The people wanted more, and I had to give it to them. Out went the drinking, and back came the editing.

I started various blogs about life in Asia, uploaded old articles and essays from the first two issues to the website, and created a Beat Generation social network, all to pique the interest of the people. We’d lost too many staff members over the year of absence to rely upon the same contributors. Impatience set in. The distance became a factor. My old artists and illustrators went on to new jobs in Scotland. Eduardo Jones, our bat-shit crazy regular, was killed. Rodney Munch went missing somewhere in the Sea of Japan…

But now we’re back with an issue that takes the Beat out of the fifties and brings it right back into the ugly new millennium, where it’s needed the most. When the world changes too fast, and the hands of the diabolic wander beyond their stations, the spirit of the restless few must rise and seize the day.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Massive Update

Well, it's a whole year now since the last issue of Beatdom magazine was released, and almost two years since the Rodney Munch Project. In that time a lot has changed for this writer. I've lived on three different continents, visited eight countries, held four jobs, and made and lost many, many friends. Inspiration has come and gone and continues to cycle thusly, but I'm taking this little burst of enthusiasm to finally move towards assembling that near ridiculous idea: My Chinese Democracy, Beatdom Issue Three!

So go ahead, writers and artists, and beginning bugging me with submissions so that I have as little writing to do myself. Send me everything you've got on the Beat Generation and the counterculture.

Also, as a little treat, to whet your Appetites for Destruction, I'm in the process of a massive update. I'm finally throwing all of the articles and features from the first two issues onto the website, where they can be read in classy black & white for free, forever. That's let everyone see the quality of Beatdom and let them buy an issue when they so choose.

Also, I'd like to thank the visitors to for keeping the counter rising, and to all the well-wishers who still keep finding this already outdated publication and reading and loving it. Your kind words keeping me going.

Yours, always, David S Wills