- we hunt the dead

Jack Kerouac
March 12, 1922 - October 21, 1969
Edson Cemetery - Lowell, MA

"Pretty girls make graves."
- Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Jack Kerouac was a very influential poet and author who became the voice of the post-World War II "Beat Generation" (a phrase he coined) - the Jazzy, drug-inspired subculture that sprung up in the 50s.  His circle of friends included other "Beatniks" such as Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, George Whitman and William S. Burroughs.

His writing style, which he called Spontaneous Prose, involved a Stream of Consciousness in which "first-thought=best thought".  When asked to formally explain this writing technique, he penned "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose", a list of 30 essentials for Spontaneous Prose you can read HERE.


"TI JEAN" JOHN L. KEROUAC MAR. 12, 1922 - OCT. 21, 1969 --HE HONORED LIFE --
STELLA HIS WIFE NOV. 11, 1918 - FEB 10, 1990 (Inset dove-style diving bird on left)

This grave was almost impossible for us to find.  It was nearing dark when we arrived at Edson and we had nothing but a badly printed copy of a badly taken photo of Kerouac's ground-level stone to go on.  We spent over an hour scouring the rather boring small stones and plaques to no avail.

We finally broke down and asked a woman who was utilizing the wide cemetery paths to teach her son how to drive for help.  We assumed that anyone lucky enough to live in the town where Jack Kerouac is buried would know exactly where he was.  She said she wasn't sure, but pointed us in a vague direction.  We spent another half hour at least searching the area she had given us, squinting at plaques and brushing dirt, grass and leaves off of them.

We were quickly running out of daylight when we spotted a gentleman walking his dog.  We asked him for help and he knew exactly where he was ... in the exact OPPOSITE direction Driver's Ed Mom had pointed us!  We were eternally grateful to the dog-walker, as well as excited.  We hurriedly snapped some shots before dark and ruminated over the grave of one of our favorite authors as long as we could.

I was so excited that we found the grave before dark that I forgot to write down its location.  However, some research upon our return home tells me that his grave is in the Sampas family plot at Lincoln Avenue between Seventh and Eighth "Streets" within the cemetery.


Factoid:  John Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac.



Learn more about Jack Kerouac



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