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Early Beat Writers Richard Barker and James Grady

March 30, 2017

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Here is another post I am publishing based on Seymour Krim’s 1960 anthology of the Beat Movement. Before each Beat writer Krim featured he wrote a short profile. What’s so fascinating about Krim and his little book is that it was written and published when the Beatnik culture was dominating America’s 1950s. So he writes from the perspective of the moment and with the crazy Beatnik vernacular that often was fodder for cartoons, satire, and ultimately Hollywood movies. Here are Krim’s profiles of two lesser-known early Beats:

Richard Barker

“Barker is a professional drummer. WestCoast-based, with a legit literary background (MA at Cornell, 1953, with a pre-Beat Henry Miller as his thesis) and some Paris knocking-around as part of his picture. He’s 30 and has made the bohemian scene from coast to coast. He writes a tense swinging piece here.”

For the anthology Krim published Barker’s prose piece “Horn Fight at the Mission Corral.”

James Grady

“Cocky Jim Grady comes out of Ohio, the Army, Manhattan’s New School and is bucking for Broadway dramatist fame—he’s honest about wanting the dollar and beatly bitter in his appreciation of its Lordship. A flinty, sardonic wiseguy complete with brain and, unexpectedly, soul. Plus that startling Irish wit.”

For Grady, Krim published the poem “The Buck is My Benison.”

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