Harry Ransom Center

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Letters by Erica Lies

Based on the cut-ups of the Beat writer William Burroughs, this piece juxtaposes snippets of letters from various Beats to each other and their families. Letters explores the varied experiences of these individuals through a form that relies on jazz music and poetry. The selected letters demonstrate the community between these artists, discuss the Beat take-over of Tangier, and describe the impact of fame with its attendant whirlwind of touring and traveling.

Image: Detail from a snapshot of Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg in India, 1962.