As part of our “research” for an upcoming trip, my friend Elliot and I decided to read Alison Winfield Burns’ Ivy League Bohemians (2015), a self-published memoir of her time at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. While failing to deliver, it is a book I think ought to be on every Beat aficionados’ radar (even if it’s only on the periphery). So to this end, I reviewed it for Empty Mirror:
It is an irony of the Beat Generation and New York Schools that little is written about the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Founded at Naropa University in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the school aspires to cultivate “contemplative and experimental approaches to writing,” and to this end, for the last forty years the school’s been the gathering grounds for the serious avant-garde. Yet the number of memoirs written about the place can be counted on two thumbs. That is, there is Sam Kashner’s When I Was Cool: My Life at the Kerouac School (2004), which is about his time as the school’s first student, and now his fiancé Alison Winfield Burns’ Ivy League Bohemians (2015).
You can read the rest here.