Herbert Huncke is the pivotal figure in the development of beat literature. Huncke's use of the carny term "beat"ť in his stories of riding the rails in the thirties inspired Jack Kerouac to chronicle his own tales of rootless wandering in On the Road. He turned William Burroughs onto heroin, and appears as a character in Burroughs' Junky, the first step in an immersion in addict culture that would eventually produce Naked Lunch. And the image of Huncke's shoes filled with blood tramping 42nd Street gave Allen Ginsberg the very model of the "angel-headed hipster" in his seminal poem Howl. But most beat fans do not realize that before he even met the beat lit triumvirate, Huncke was writing in a journal he always carried with him. The stories that come down to us, depicting lyrical childhood memories, loss of innocence, misfits of society, petty crime, incarceration, junk sickness and the downtown art scene, reveal that Huncke's legendary storytelling skills were infused with their own touch of the poet.

This January 9, 2009 will be the 94th anniversary of Huncke's birth, and the extended family of his friends and fellow travelers are coming together to remind us of Herbert’s importance as a writer. Among those scheduled to read are:
Tatum O'Neal, Oscar winning actress
Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth founder
Abel Ferrara, Indie movie auteur
Jack Walls, writer & visual artist
Stewart Meyer, Lotus Crew novelist
Edgar Oliver, downtown theatre stalwart
Anne Hanavan, painter, filmmaker & performance artist
Paul Calderon, actor & screenwriter
Jeremiah Newton, writer /producer: Beautiful Darling, The Life & Times of Warhol Superstar Candy Darling
David Lawton, poet & actor
Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis, poet, drug user activist, ibogaine therapist & N'ganga

And a Special Musical Appearance by Patti Smith

With video contributions from:
Laki Vazakas, Huncke and Louis
Francois Bernadi, Original Beats
David Schmiddlap, photographer and filmmaker

The event takes place at the hot new downtown club, The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery (at 2nd Street), starting at 8pm. Doors open at 7:30pm. There is no admission for this event. Hosted by Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis and David Lawton. A presentation of Basse Productions.

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