In their class on the Beat movement of the 1950s and ‘60s, Harper College students have been reading the work of authors like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
Now they’ll have a chance to hear about the Beat Generation directly from one of its last living members. Beat poet Andy Clausen will appear on Harper’s campus to meet with the students in Professor Kurt Hemmer’s Beat Generation class on October 29.
That evening, he will appear publicly to read and sign copies of his new book “Home of the Blues: More Selected Poems” at 7 p.m. in the Drama Lab Theatre, L109, Building L on the College’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine.
Born in a Belgian bomb shelter in 1943, Clausen was once hailed by Allen Ginsberg as the “future of American poetry.” He is the author of 14 books of poetry that provide a perspective that’s very different from his fellow Beat writers.
“He was very much a working class poet,” Hemmer said. “He was an outsider who followed his own dream rather than pursuing money. It’s always good to show students alternatives like that.”
To hear firsthand accounts of life among the Beat poets presents a unique opportunity for the students, Hemmer said.
“It’s exciting for them to meet someone who actually knew some of the authors they’ve been reading and the inspirations for the characters they’ve been reading about.”
Clausen is currently working on a book about his friendship with Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and other members of the Beat Generation.
Tickets are $7 and can be ordered through the box office at 847.925.6100 or at harpercollege.edu/boxoffice