WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 The actual anniversary of On the Road’s publication will be celebrated with a marathon reading of the most famous work by Lowell’s most illustrious literary son. John Sampas, brother of Kerouac’s third wife and the administrator of the author’s estate, will kick things off at 10 am with chapter one. Forty-two artists, academics, and fans — including the Phoenix’s own Lloyd Schwartz — will keep the beat going on long into the night. The free reading will be held at the Olive That & More deli (167 Market Street).
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 In the spirit of Beat poetry readings, Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus will host the MILL CITY OPEN MIC AND POETRY SLAM. So bring your berets and experimental scribblings to 61 Market Street, at 7 pm. Arrive early if you’d like to sign up to perform.
Also starting at 7 is VISIONS OF KEROUAC: A CONCERT WITH NORMAN GUILBEAULT & FRIENDS. French-Canadian jazz bassist Guilbeault has set the Beat bard’s text to music for this free 90-minute performance, which will be held at the McDonald Arts Magnet Theater (40 Paige Street).
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 Acclaimed composer DAVE AMRAM — Kerouac’s principal musical collaborator, and the guy who scatted accompaniment at many of the author’s readings — will lead his quintet in a tribute concert featuring the jazz his friend loved so much. The show starts at 7:30 pm at Boarding House Park (40 French Street). Tickets are $20 at the door, or $16 in advance from lowellsummermusic.org.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 Saturday marks the beginning of KEROUAC’S INFLUENCE: WRITERS OF THE NEXT GENERATION, a two-day event to be held at multiple venues. Creative and scholarly souls who have been touched by Kerouac’s work will speak at locations around Lowell. From 1 to 2:30 pm, Ken Janjigian, Larry Carradini, and J.D. Scrimgeour will speak at the Brush Gallery (256 Market Street). From 3 to 4:30 pm, George Wallace, Dave Robinson, and Cesar Sanchez Beras will speak at Life Alive (194 Middle Street). And from 6 to 7:30 pm, Jay Atkinson, Paul Marion, Mark Schorr, and Peter Loosigan will speak at Brew’d Awakening (61 Market Street). The rap session will wrap up on Sunday, from 1 to 3 pm, when Jean Monahan, Danielle Legros Georges, Gigi Thibodeau, and Richard Wollman speak at the Events Center of the Boott Cotton Mills Museum (115 John Street).
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 During the three fervid weeks in 1951 when he drafted On the Road, Kerouac taped sheets of tracing paper together so that his thoughts could flow uninterrupted through his typewriter. Through October 14, that unedited 120-foot scroll forms the centerpiece of the exhibit on Kerouac’s life and work at the BOOTT COTTON MILLS MUSEUM (115 John Street). The exhibit is on display from 10 am to 5 pm daily, but from 2 to 3:30 pm today, members of the exhibition team will be on hand to answer your questions about the scroll, the other personal artifacts being shown, and the King of Beats’ unique spiritual quest as a writer. Admission is free and refreshments will be served in the museum.
Later in the afternoon, composer DAVE AMRAM will be back to perform his new concerto, Giants of the Night — a tribute to Jack Kerouac, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillepsie — with the NEW ENGLAND ORCHESTRA and guest flutist FENWICK SMITH. The NEO will also perform Amram’s “Classical Jack,” which will accompany excerpts from On the Road. The free concert begins at 4 pm in the Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s Liberty Hall (50 East Merrimack Street).
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 Want to hit the road yourself while contributing to a worthy cause? At noon, participants in the KEROUAC 5K will run to fund a Jack Kerouac scholarship, which will be awarded to a Lowell High School senior planning to major in journalism. You can register on the day of the race starting at 10 am for $20 at Hookslide Kelly’s sports bar (19 Merrimack Street), or you can register in advance for $15 at kerouac5k.com. There will be raffles and giveaways, and the post-race party will include refreshments and adult libations — just as Jack would have liked it.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5 At noon in room 222 of the O’Leary Library (61 Wilder Street), professor Matt Theado of Gardner-Web University will give the keynote address for UMass Lowell’s ninth annual JACK KEROUAC CONFERENCE ON BEAT LITERATURE. Theado, the author of Understanding Jack Kerouac and The Beats: A Literary Reference, will be joined by Beat buffs from across the country for two days of lectures and panel discussions. The conference begins on Thursday and is free to the public; a full schedule will be posted at uml.edu/college/arts_sciences/kerouac_center.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12 Get your literary fix at the release party for WHERE THE ROAD BEGINS, a new anthology inspired by Kerouac’s work. David Daniel, Hilary Holladay, Paul Marion, and other regional poets and writers will be reading their works on freedom, friendship, and the open road. The festivities will take place from 6 to 9 pm at the Revolving Museum (22 Shattuck Street).