Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival Closing Out Jack Kerouac Centennial

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival Closing Out Jack Kerouac Centennial

The 2022 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival 
Closing Out the 2022 Jack Kerouac Centennial in Lowell
Observing the 60th Anniversary of the Publication of Big Sur


Pre-Festival Events

Thursday, September 15 | Lala Books of Lowell. 189 Market Street.

7:00 pm: Presentation and discussion of “Whither Goest Thou America in Your Shiny Car?” This    the title of a chapter by Steve Edington in his forthcoming book “The Gospel According to Jack.”

Saturday, October 1 | Pollard Memorial Library. 401 Merrimack Street.

9:30 am: A Marathon Reading of Big Sur at the Pollard Library. Celebrate Kerouac’s novel Big Sur on the 60thanniversary of its publication. Join us as we read the novel in its entirety over the course of the day. Those interested in reading can register starting on September 1, 2022. Arranged by Bridget Cooley, Coordinator of Community Planning.

Link to register that will open on September 1:


The 2022 LCK/Kerouac Centennial Festival

There will be an exhibition of LCK posters from previous festivals at the O’Leary Library mezzanine, UML South Campus, during the month of October.

Thursday, October 6

2:00 pm | Location TBD: Jack Kerouac: Collected Writings from Desolation Peak. A presentation by Charles Shuttleworth from a just released book on Kerouac’s Desolation Peak journals. Done in conjunction with the Kerouac Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. South Campus of the UML.

5:00 pm: Festival’s Opening Gathering at The Old Worthen 141 Worthen St. Followed by a Jack at Night Tour that will include stops at the St. Jean Baptiste Church, the site of the “Watermelon Man Bridge”, The Grotto and the Archambault Funeral Home (where Jack was waked), and then a return to The Old Worthen. Tour led by Bill Walsh. 

Following the Jack at Night Walk.

Music at The Old Worthen at 141 Worthen St. GlassOnion, a Beatles Tribute Band from Lowell, MA. George Koumantzelis and Mike Dion. Readings by Meg Smith and Jim Dunn.

Friday, October 7:

9:30 am: Lowell High School Annual Poetry and Prose Competition. Lowell High School. [Not open to the public.]

11:00 am: Reality Alley Poetry Workshop | The Old Worthen | 141 Worthen St. Led by Dan Bacon. 

2:00 pm: Talking Jack | The All Gallery | 307 Market St. An open-ended, informal conversation about Kerouac, for all who wish to join in, hosted by Kurt Phaneuf. We’ll also welcome guests Jerry and Estelle Cimino from San Francisco’s Beat Museum, who are completing a cross-country Kerouac Centennial “Beat Museum on Wheels” tour.

7:00 pm. A Night of Jazz at Zorba’s Music Hall | 437 Market St

  • 7:00-9:00 FLAVA EVOUTION
  • 9:00—11:00 David Amram Band w/Adam Amram, Kevin Twigg, Rene Hart.
 A $10.00 cover charge is requested to support Lowell Celebrates Kerouac


Saturday, October 8: Kerouac Park | Bridge St

9:00 am: Commemorative at the Commemorative. Part of the Commemorative gathering this year will be to honor the lives of four persons who have passed away in the past year or two, and who each played an important part in the LCK Story: Mark Hemenway, Richard Hyatt. David Greenwalt, and Alyce Brunelle.

Then, on this 60th anniversary of the publication of Big Sur, we’ll take an honest look at Kerouac’s struggle with alcohol and his willingness to be open about it. How do we honor that struggle without romanticizing it? LCKer Mike Flynn will share some of his recovery story and the role Big Sur played for him as he dealt with it.

10:00 am: Bus Tour of the Kerouac Sites of Lowell.

  • Includes Kerouac’s birthplace on Lupine Road, and his gravesite at the Edson Cemetery, as well as other sites described in his Lowell novels. The Tour leaves from the Commemorative.Reservations suggested by calling 978-970-5000. A $10.00 donation is requested to cover the bus costs.