Jack Kerouac Park
Visit the Jack Kerouac Park, at 246 Market Street, is named after the Beat poet and novelist (1922-1969) who was born and lived many years in Lowell. The population of Lowell is approximately 112,000.
The writer is buried nearby at the Sampas family plot at Edson Cemetery, located on Gorham Street two miles south of the Lowell Connector. (He had married into the Sampas family.)
“The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.” –Jack Kerouac
Kerouac’s most famous book is On the Road. He carried influence over a generation of non-conformist writers and artists, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s. Read more about the writer at Literary San Francisco of our California section and the Jack Kerouac page in our Florida section.
The Beat was an anti-establishment subculture characterized by woven styles of contemporary poetry, dark fashions, and philosophy. It had its own slang, much of which is part of our everyday language today. Words like “hipster” and “Big Daddy” came from that movement. Check out http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/slang/beat-slang-1950s.html for more about Beat slang.
If you want to get a light taste of Beat Culture, watch Funny Face, the classic musical film starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Kay Thompson. Also, Peter, Paul and Mary, a popular vocal group in the 1960s, recorded a song with many Beat Culture references called I Dig.
“It is not my fault that certain so-called bohemian elements have found in my writings something to hang their peculiar beatnik theories on.” –Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac Park is the first stop on Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 3.