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Lot 180

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Jack Kerouac's Copy of Rare Poetry Monthly "The Floating Bear," Signed by Magazine Co-Editor/Poet Amiri Baraka; Estate-Owned

Issue #2 of "The Floating Bear," a poetry newsletter, personally owned and read by Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the famous writer who brought us "On the Road" (1957). The newsletter bears a postmarked address label reading "Jack Kerouac / 49 Earl St. / Northport, N.Y." at top. Stamped on the back of the last page with the Jack Kerouac Estate stamp. Inscribed and signed by Amiri Baraka (1934-2014), one of the magazine's co-editors, as: "to John / Unity + Struggle / Amiri Baraka / 10/18/13" at upper left. [The dedicatee may have been John Sampas (1932-2017), who was the brother-in-law of Jack Kerouac, and the brother of Stella Kerouac, Jack's wife.]

This issue of the newsletter, ca. 1961, runs 8pp in length and features four poems by Frank O'Hara; two poems by Steve Jonos; two meditations by LeRoi Jones; and cross promotion for upcoming works by Ed Dorn and Joel Oppenheimer. The mimeographed double-sided pages are in very good to near fine condition. Stapled at upper right and with staple marks at top. A minor closed tear runs through the bottom edge of all pages where the newsletter was opened. 8.5" x 11."

"The Floating Bear" was a semi-monthly newsletter established in New York City in 1961 and first edited by two leading Beatnik poets, Diane Di Prima (born 1934) and LeRoi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka). After 1963, Di Prima took over exclusive editorship; the newsletter headquarters later moved to San Francisco. The newsletter, named after Winnie the Pooh's enormous honey pot sailing vessel, was distributed solely by mailing list and entirely supported by the editors and donations. During its decade of publication, "The Floating Bear" linked the East Coast Beatniks with the Black Mountain school (North Carolina) and San Francisco Renaissance circles, among others. It featured the work of many of Kerouac's close friends, such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.

Jack Kerouac lived at 49 Earl Avenue in Northport, Long Island between August 1959 and April 1961.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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