Born and educated in Chicago, Gerald Nicosia has spent the past forty years on the West Coast, mainly in the Bay Area. Best known for two large nonfiction works, Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac and Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans’ Movement, he has also worked extensively as a journalist, poet, and organizer of literary events. His biography of Kerouac, Memory Babe, which first came out in 1983 with Grove Press, will soon be published in a fourth, updated and revised edition; and it has been translated into several languages, mostly recently into Mandarin, in Shanghai, China. Having moved to San Francisco in 1979, Nicosia became part of the post-Beat circle of poets in the Bay Area, and eventually numbered many of the Beat poets, including Jack Micheline, Harold Norse, Gregory Corso, David Meltzer, Jerry Kamstra, Howard Hart, Joanna McClure, Lenore Kandel, and Janine Pommy Vega among his good friends. In 2013, Nicosia received one of the first Acker Awards “for avant-garde excellence.” He lives in Marin County, California.
Advance praise for BEAT SCRAPBOOK
“The power and force of the Beat movement in American letters and culture, the primary figures, the significant works and the far-ranging influence, have been examined and extolled by many, but in the end there is only Nicosia standing above the rest. As a historian of the heart he is unsurpassed. And now he gives us Beat Scrapbook, this beautiful poetic addendum to it all where he lets his heart speak in one eulogy after another to the many great souls he has known in this journey. What an outpouring of love and recognition!”
Gerald Nicosia is the author of Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac, widely regarded as the definitive work on the father of the Beat Generation. Beat Scrapbook proves again, as Lionel Rolfe wrote in the Huffington Post, that “he also is a real poet, very much in the San Francisco tradition of Ferlinghetti, Patchen, Rexroth and Ginsberg.”
“Beat Scrapbook is a remarkable celebration of life and a haunting elegy for family, friends and fellow poets. In a truly Beat extension of the great tradition of poetic remembrance, Gerald Nicosia homages the people he has loved and admired in his life. These poems take the reader through loss and grief to a hard-fought reconciliation with mortality, honoring friendship and passionate affection, moving from melancholy to the conferring of blessings, with poignant grace notes. Mourning and rapture merge in these fine portraits of lives lived creatively and on the edge. This is a profoundly moving and validating work. It is nothing less than a poetry of life and love over death.” —Ian MacFadyen