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The Beat Women

Laura Barton meets the women of the Beat Generation, writers such as Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones and Anne Waldman, and makes a case for seeing their work in a new light.

The forgotten women of the Beat Generation supported, loved, endured, and were creatively overshadowed by their famous male counterparts. More than just muses, they were often authors in their own right. Laura Barton travels to New York to meet some of these women, writers such as Joyce Johnson, who already had a book deal when she met Jack Kerouac as a young woman, but has seen her long career overshadowed by her brief time as Keraouc's girlfriend. Hettie Jones risked everything to defy 1950's convention and her Jewish parents to marry the black poet LeRoi Jones, who later became Amiri Baraka.

Then there are writers such as Anne Waldman, from a later generation to Hettie and Joyce, who learnt from the Beat Generation and aims to keep the tradition alive today.

While in many cases the work of the women of the Beats was not be as innovative as their male counterparts, Laura argues that we should celebrate the writing of the women who fought to forge their own paths, for whom merely telling their story was a struggle.

Presenter: Laura Barton
Producer: Jessica Treen.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sat 20 Feb 2016 15:30


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