University Archives

Lot 181

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Jack Kerouac's Personally Owned 3 Issues of Rare Poetry Monthly "The Floating Bear," Estate-Certified

Three issues 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 newsletters, ca. 1961, bear postmarked address labels with Kerouac's addresses in Northport, New York, as well as an inscription redirecting his mail to Orlando, Florida. Each issue is stamped on the back of the last page with the Jack Kerouac Estate stamp. The mimeographed double-sided pages are in very good to near fine condition. Stapled at upper right and with staple marks at top. Expected light wear including paper folds. Else very good to near fine. 8.5" x 11."

The lot includes, along with two outer wrappers:

- Issue #1, 1961. 8pp. Featuring poems by Michael McClure, Charles Olson, Max Finstein, and Robin Blaser.

- Issue #6, 1961. 12pp. Poems and editorials by George Stanley, LeRoi Jones, Stan Persky, Koenig, Diana Di Prima, and Robert Creeley.

- Issue #8, 1961. 12pp. Featuring work by A.B. Spellman, Anonymous, Joel Oppenheimer, and Ed Dorn.

"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, 1934-2014). 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. He lived in Orlando, Florida briefly, returning to Northport by late 1962.

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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